NATO chief welcomes Sweden's new terrorist legislation that includes PKK - M5 Dergi
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NATO chief welcomes Sweden’s new terrorist legislation that includes PKK

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‘Türkiye has legitimate security concerns and I welcome that Sweden has stepped up in the fight against terrorism,’ says Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday welcomed Sweden’s new anti-terror legislation which includes the PKK, describing it as a step up in the country’s fight against terrorism.

“Türkiye has legitimate security concerns and I welcome that Sweden has stepped up in the fight against terrorism, including the PKK, by introducing new terrorist legislation and strengthening counterterrorism cooperation with Ankara,” Stoltenberg said in a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.

“I also welcome that Sweden is ensuring that there are no restrictions on arms exports to Türkiye,” he added.

Stoltenberg and Kristersson discussed finalizing Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO, the alliance’s chief said, adding: “This is a top priority and we are making progress.”

The NATO head also said he is glad that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to resume negotiations, referring to a trilateral meeting that will take place on Thursday in Brussels, where parties will discuss whether the requirements under the trilateral memorandum are fulfilled or not.

It is also encouraging that the Hungarian parliament has begun to debate the ratification of Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids, he said, adding that he anticipates that the procedure will end soon.

Kristersson, for his part, said in the coming weeks, Sweden will become “completely ready” to join NATO after its ratification by Türkiye and Hungary, which means “Sweden will be working at the same pace as Finland.”

He also said in Brussels, Sweden will present in detail exactly what measures have been taken since the Madrid meeting.

Last June, Türkiye and the two Nordic countries signed a memorandum at a NATO summit in Madrid to address Ankara’s legitimate security concerns, paving the way for their eventual membership in the alliance.

The memorandum addresses Türkiye’s concerns, including arms exports and the fight against terrorism.

Only Hungary and Türkiye have not yet ratified Sweden and Finland’s requests for inclusion in NATO.

Sweden’s new an anti-terror legislation will target the financing, aiding and propagation of terrorist groups. Traveling abroad to join or assist a terrorist group will also be penalized if the law goes into effect.

Ankara has been demanding Stockholm to take concrete actions to combat terrorist groups PKK and Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt in Türkiye.

Sweden then passed an anti-terror law last November, hoping that Ankara would okay Stockholm’s bid to join the NATO alliance. Türkiye says that the adopted laws were not sufficient enough and nothing much had been done to stop the activities of the terrorist groups.

While Türkiye was unsatisfied with the vague approach of Sweden, Ankara postponed a trilateral meeting with Sweden and Finland over the Nordic countries’ NATO bid after Swedish authorities allowed a Danish far-right politician to burn a copy of the Quran, Islam’s holy book, outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm on Jan. 21.

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