Swedish PM confident on joining NATO but cannot fulfill all of Türkiye’s conditions

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson Sunday affirmed that Sweden is confident Türkiye will ratify Sweden’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) application. At the same time, Kristersson expressed concern since Sweden is unable to accept certain demands made by Türkiye. This comes as NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stolenberg said that “it is important that Sweden and Finland become NATO members” because the move will strengthen security in the Nordic region. Finland has also said that it will not join NATO unless Sweden does.

Türkiye first issued its demands in May 2022 when Sweden applied to join NATO along with Finland. Türkiye objected to Sweden and Finland’s applications on the grounds that the countries were harboring militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). In order to successfully have their NATO application ratified, Sweden  must have the approval of all NATO member states, including Türkiye. Among Türkiye’s demands are the extraditions of alleged terrorist suspects from Sweden and Finland.

In a memorandum released in June 2022, Sweden and Finland agreed to Turkish demands of stronger stances against terror organizations. In September 2022, Sweden passed an anti-terror constitutional amendment which will make prosecution of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and other groups labeled by Turkey as terrorist organizations easier. But then, in December 2022, the Swedish Supreme Court ruled that the extradition of journalist Bulent Kenes to Türkiye would violate Swedish law. Turkish officials accused Kenes of participating in the 2016 attempted coup to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Currently, only Türkiye and Hungary have yet to affirm the NATO membership requests.



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