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Turkey has put forward a list of five requirements that must be met before it will agree to include Sweden in the NATO defense alliance.
This is according to a press release from the Turkish presidential office. The office has also tweeted the requirements in several different languages.
“Our country is in favor of keeping the door to NATO open, but at the same time believes that members of the alliance, as well as candidates, should cooperate at the highest level in combating terrorism,” the statement said.
The Turkish demands center largely on Sweden’s relationship with the Kurdish Workers ‘ Party (PKK) and the PYD party. Turkey reiterates its demand that Sweden extradite a number of people belonging to the parties.
The requirements are grouped under five headings. They sound as follows:
- Stop the political support of terrorism.
- Stop supporting terrorism financially.
- Stop supplying weapons to the PKK/PYD.
- Remove sanctions against Turkey.
- Establish global cooperation against terrorism.
The point about lifting sanctions against Turkey refers to the fact that since 2019, Sweden has stopped selling weapons to Turkey.
Sweden and Finland formally applied for NATO membership on Wednesday.
Not long after, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he “will not say yes” to letting the two countries into the defense alliance.
All 30 NATO countries must vote yes if Sweden and Finland are to join. Therefore, Turkey’s position could potentially strain the legs of the two.
It is Russia’s war in Ukraine that has triggered the NATO applications.
NATO plays an important role in the war.
Russia has demanded a guarantee that Ukraine will never become part of the alliance. NATO has refused to meet this demand. According to the Russians, it will threaten their security if Ukraine joins NATO.
Many NATO countries have supported Ukraine with military equipment after the country has been invaded by Russia. However, no NATO troops have been sent into Ukraine because Ukraine is not part of the defense alliance.