Tuesday. 05.07.2022
WAR IN UKRAINE

NATO chief hails progress in Turkey spat with Nordic applicants

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson gave assurances that Swedish terror laws have changed in the last couple of years and will continue to be adjusted

HANDOUT - 13 June 2022, Sweden, Harpsund: Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (R) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg take a Swedish traditional rowboat during their meeting. Photo: -/NATO/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (R) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg take a Swedish traditional rowboat. Photo: NATO/dpa.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Monday that there has been progress in the spat between Turkey and the two new NATO applicants Finland and Sweden.

Stoltenberg said that Sweden was showing compromise on two points: "I welcome that Sweden has already started to change its counterterrorism legislation and that Sweden will ensure that the legal framework for arms export will reflect their future status as a NATO member with new commitments to allies.

"These are two important steps to address concerns Turkey has raised."

Andersson also gave assurances that Swedish terror laws have changed in the last couple of years and will continue to be adjusted.

She said that Sweden was taking Turkey's concerns very seriously, "not ... least their security concerns when it comes to the fight against terrorism."

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO in May, with Turkey the only NATO member to publicly block the start of the accession process.

Sweden 'already better protected'

Ankara justified the move by citing the alleged support of both countries for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is officially considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, the US and the EU.

During a visit to Finland on Sunday, Stoltenberg had said that Turkey's concerns must be taken seriously.

Despite the hurdle, Stoltenberg emphasized on Monday that Sweden is already better protected by having applied for NATO membership.

"If Sweden was attacked, then I deem it as unthinkable that NATO allies would not react. So, seen from a security perspective, Sweden is in a better place now than it was before it has applied," he said.

NATO chief hails progress in Turkey spat with Nordic applicants
Comments