STOCKHOLM, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Sweden is confident Turkey will approve its application to join the NATO military alliance, but cannot meet all the conditions Ankara has set for its support, Sweden’s prime minister said on Sunday.
“Turkey is both confirming that we have done what we said we would do, but they are also saying that they want things that we cannot or do not want to give them,” Prime Minister Ulf Kristerson told a think-tank conference on defense in Sweden.
Finland and Sweden signed a trilateral agreement with Turkey in 2022 aimed at overcoming Ankara’s objections to their membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
They applied in May to join NATO in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Turkey resisted and accused the countries of harboring fighters, including from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party
One obstacle is the extradition of people Turkey considers terrorists. Ankara expressed disappointment with a decision late last year by Sweden’s Supreme Court to suspend a request to I extradite a journalist with alleged links to Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, accused by Turkey of attempting a coup.
Reporting by Johan Allander and Simon Johnson; edited by Barbara Lewis
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