NATO Chief Praises Sweden’s Aspiring Member’s Allowances to Turkey
Aspiring NATO member Sweden has taken important steps to address Turkey’s objections to its accession, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said. He points out that Sweden is adjusting its anti-terror legislation and what is doing about the arms embargo that still applies to Turkey.
Sweden and neighbouring Finland want to join NATO as soon as possible. They think they are safer within the Western military alliance than with a neutral position outside it, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
But Turkey will stop the accession of Sweden in particular as long as the country does not meet several requirements. The government in Ankara wants Sweden to take tougher action against the Kurdish PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization, and the Gülen movement. The Swedish restrictions on arms trade with Turkey should also be removed, Ankara believes.
Stoltenberg previously called the Turkish “concerns” “legitimate”. “I welcome that Sweden has already started to amend its counter-terror legislation and that Sweden will ensure that arms export legislation will reflect its future status as a NATO member with new obligations to allies,” the secretary-general said on a visit to Stockholm. “Those are two important steps to address the concerns expressed by Turkey.”