Stockholm, 9 January 2023 (GNP): Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson, hoped that Turkey will relent in its unchanging demands posed to it for the approval of Stockholm to join NATO.
This was said by the Swedish Prime Minister at a security conference. He added that Stockholm has nearly met all the requirements as demanded by Ankara, but it is not possible for his country to fulfill all these demands by the Turkish government.
After the Russian attack on Ukraine last February, these two Nordic countries applied for membership in NATO, setting aside their traditional non-aligned stance in world politics.
Ankara criticized in NATO’s meeting last July these two Nordic countries for harboring and supporting the Kurd rebels that are fighting against Turkish security forces for a separate homeland of theirs.
Many high-profile leaders and supporters of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) have been living in Sweden and Finland after Turk forces cracked down on them in Turkey.
Ankara demands both Stockholm and Helsinki take concrete steps against the eradication of terrorism, which means cracking down on these Kurd rebels enjoying the status of refugees and political asylum in them.
The United States and European Union have already declared the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) a terrorist group.
Last December the Swedish Supreme Court stopped the extradition of a Kurd journalist Bulent Kenes, the editor-in-chief of the daily Zaman who is accused by the Turkish government to be involved in the 2016 coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It also demands both Stockholm and Helsinki extradite the other 33 Kurd fighters and plotters of the 2016 coup. It is worth mentioning that a very large number of the Kurd diaspora is living in Sweden.
Among whom some Ankara pins out some for involving and supporting terrorist activities in Turkey. Of 30 members of NATO, only Turkey and Hungary now opposes the joining of Sweden and Finland.
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the Hungarian parliament will soon approve the joining of Sweden and Finland to NATO thus leaving only Ankara’s opposition to these two countries.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General and the Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg said that he expects that both Sweden and Finland will join NATO at the very start of 2023, but he could not give an exact date for this joining.
He also said that the two countries are committed to a long-term working relationship with Turkey and that the time has arrived to settle down mutual issues for a smooth working atmosphere.