Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Linde said Sunday that negotiations with Turkey on Stockholm’s NATO bid are “becoming difficult,” The Cradle reported.
Linde said that the situation became more difficult after a photograph was taken in July that showed a group of Swedish MPs and members of Sweden’s Left Party holding the flags of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the People’s Defense Units (YPG), two Kurdish-led groups Turkey considers a terrorist organization.
“Negotiations with Turkey over NATO have become more difficult, after deputies from the Left Party raised the flag of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK),” Linde said. The US and the EU have also labeled the PKK as a terrorist group, but consider the YPG to be a separate organization.
“According to Swedish law this is considered freedom of expression, but we believe that this is a completely inappropriate situation for the government,” Linde said.
Turkey initially blocked Sweden and Finland from applying to join NATO over allegations that the two Nordic countries supported the PKK. But Turkey lifted its objection after signing a memorandum with the two nations back in June. Linde said officials from Sweden, Finland, and Turkey recently met in Helsinki to discuss the implementation of the agreement.
A major aspect of the memorandum was Sweden and Finland agreeing to respond to Turkey’s extradition requests. Turkey has asked Sweden to extradite a number of suspected PKK members and people from other groups. Sweden recently announced it would extradite a man wanted in Turkey for fraud, but Ankara said that wasn’t enough to live up to the deal.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that Turkey’s parliament can still block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO if they don’t live up to Ankara’s demands.
The Swedish government is under domestic pressure not to comply with Turkey. “They want to turn around, willing to cozy up with the dictator Erdogan. All to join NATO,” said Delgado Varas, one of the MPs seen holding the flags in July, according to The Cradle.
18 thoughts on “Swedish FM Says Negotiations With Turkey on NATO Bid ‘Becoming Difficult’”
I suspect that Turkey put the Kurdish question on the table because Erdogan believed that Sweden would never accept it. Ironically, Sweden and Finland may ultimately thank him. Till then, let the games continue.
“PKK … a Kurdish militant group Turkey and the EU consider a terrorist organization” – according to the EU’s own courts, the PKK is not a terrorist organisation. The UN agrees, as do the vast majority of World governments.
That’s a little misleading, in terms of the EU and generally.
The EU “courts” may have ruled to the contrary, but the EU itself still considers the PKK to be a terrorist group. As does the USA, the UK, and many other countries, including now Sweden and Finland.
It seems Europeans have become children. They seem to have no ability to discern reality apart from the propaganda narrative at all. I mean, in what possible way is the security of Sweden enhanced by joining nato? None. It’s a complete loss of independence, is all. So now they have to kowtow to the sultan. This is just the start of course …
Erdogan is, I’m sure, greatly enjoying the power he’s presently wielding.
Erdogan is similar to Trump… He is demandful and loves to be covered by media every day…!
But maybe more rational than Trump.
Biden is the worst president yet, he is worse than Bush and Bush was bad.
Not yet. Bush did two wars. Biden has the potential to end civilization, but results outweigh potential.
Renate, I never thought I’d live to see the day when we elected a “leader” as bad as or worse than Bush.
The USA exercised a lot of power behind closed doors. Maybe they thought that Biden is not that crazy to drive the car over the cliff. But Biden is senile and the people the senile man picked are crazy too. This was a long time in the making, who knows? They are bad people, shysters, all of them.
I doubt it is deliberate but Turkey seems to be trying to save Swedes from themselves.
Neutrality has worked for Sweden for decades it is folly to abandon it.
Finland prospered for decades too, they have nothing to gain but everything to lose. It makes no sense, either there is extortion or bribery involved. The action of their governments is treasonous.
Especially now that U.S & NATO are week and Russia and China are strong. Why would any sane country join the weak side in what could be a nuclear war. It won’t be pretty if Russia & China or the U.S, get tired of playing patty cakes and break out the big decissive stuff. All those of years of being neutral, only to strap on the bulls eye just as being hostile could turn their capital cities into smouldering cinders, WHY..Why, why…????? Even rats know better than a sinking ship!!!!
De facto Sweden was not neutral anymore, but they got away with it, now, why do they want to rock the boat? Corrupt or insane, who knows.
“Sweden recently announced it would extradite a man wanted in Turkey for fraud, but Ankara said that wasn’t enough to live up to the deal.”
So, what ever happened to this poor sap? Talk about cruel and unusual punishment.
The poor sap, did he commit fraud…???? What Turkey is really after is PKK operatives and fighters, Extraditing fraudsters is a way of slow walking the extradition agreement.. It is probably a stupid idea and will poison Swede Turkey relations and add strife to NATO solidarity. It will be interesting to watch and listen to the bad guy in this war, Stoltenburg, who delivered the refusal to negotiate that triggered the Russian invasion. Not negotiating left Russia no choice but to submit to allowing the U.S & NATO a first strike advantageous position on Russia or take some action to prevent any U.S. NATO encroachment. A bad choice all around. But it was Stoltenburg who was the hatchet man!!!!!! How he got to be able to decide this historically gargantuan decision is a mystery, or is he just their puppet who reads the lines he is handed by the Biden Clinton Nuland Piatt conspirators who orchestrated and executed the 2014 Maidan coup that set this Neocon conspiracy afoot, to humble Russia and achieve the first leg of their journey to their vaunted “Full Spectrum Dominance”…..?????????
The second led of humbling China awaits the success, or failure of this leg, or does it??????
This kind of thing is inevitable when a military alliance expands too far, and hopes to incorporate too many nations, with too many differences in politics, policies, interests, traditions, etc. NATO was able to submerge some of those differences, notably the Greece/Turkey conflict, and the reluctance of many Europeans to accept the Iberian quasi fascist regimes into the alliance. Partly because there was at least a plausible threat posed by the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. And partly because, even at that, NATO still had a somewhat reasonable number of members. Since 1990, however, the alliance has added state after state, many of which have dubious politics and policies, and some of which polities themselves are unstable, and many of them have grievances against each other, and there is no real threat from the East to hold them together in spite of their diversity.
Turkey has shown that, despite historical and geographical factors, it does not really fear Russia. It is trying to be an honest broker between Russia and the Ukraine, and is acting more like a neutral than a NATO ally. Hungary is not exactly fully on board either. France, Germany and Italy, beyond the rhetoric, have been pretty tepid in their support of the Ukraine, and fairly vocal in their calls for compromise. Leaving the USA, Canada, the UK, Poland, and the Balts to carry the load. Some of the other smaller states are just trying not to get caught in the crossfire: afraid to anger the USA, but not wanting to crash their economies in service to its stupid war and accompanying sanctions.
NATO is too big and too bloated to be unified.
Erdogon cannot be an honest broker and a member of NATO….. Some believe he harbors nostalgia for Ottoman times. Some things he does seem like good policy, others seem like bad policy to me. the jury in my mind is still out on Turker and Edrogan…
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