Turkey says Sweden's Nato promises 'not enough until implemented'

Ruling party in Turkey says efforts to suppress terrorism yet to 'come to life'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is holding up Sweden and Finland's Nato membership bids. AFP
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Promises made by Nato applicant Sweden to clamp down on Kurdish groups are not enough until they are implemented, Turkey has said.

Omer Celik, a spokesman for Turkey's ruling AK Party, said Ankara was yet to see Sweden's promises "come to life".

Turkey is holding up Nato membership bids by Sweden and Finland until it is satisfied with their efforts on fighting terrorism.

The two nations cannot become Nato members until all 30 current allies have approved their application.

“These statements of Sweden are good, but not enough until they are implemented. We are waiting for it to come to life,” Mr Celik said.

Sweden's new Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said last week his government would fulfil its promises to Turkey but that no further concessions were on the table.

Mr Kristersson and Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg are planning to visit Ankara soon to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mr Stoltenberg said on Tuesday he had spoken to the Swedish and Finnish leaders at what he called a critical time.

"Nato invitees Finland and Sweden have proven that it's every country's right to choose its own path," he said.

Nato brokered a deal at its June summit in which Sweden and Finland committed to . Reuters

The two Nordic countries applied to join the alliance in May, seeking protection under Nato's umbrella after Russia invaded Ukraine.

In an agreement with Turkey in June, they agreed to take a firm line on Kurdish groups that Mr Erdogan considers to be terrorists.

They promised in the three-page memorandum to stop Kurdish militants recruiting or fundraising in their countries and handle Turkish deportation requests "expeditiously and thoroughly".

Despite these promises, Turkey remains, along with Hungary, one of two Nato countries that have yet to ratify Sweden and Finland's membership.

Both Nordic applicants have rejected hints from Turkey that it could approve Finland as a Nato member before Sweden, saying they want to join together.

Hungary said last week it would consider their applications by mid-December.

Updated: November 01, 2022, 1:24 PM
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