Meeting with his Swedish and Finnish counterparts in Bucharest for the NATO meeting, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu said: “Explanations are good, determination is good, but we need to see concrete steps.”
As one of the two countries that have not completed the ratification process for SWEDEN and Finland’s membership to NATO, Turkey continues to expect concrete steps in the fight against terrorism. However, with the new government in Sweden, which is more problematic than Finland, there has been a more positive momentum compared to the old one. Speaking after the NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bucharest, the capital of Romania, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said, “Regardless of NATO membership, the new government is more sincere in the fight against terrorism. We see that,” he said.
SOME STEPS TAKE
Stating that Sweden and Finland have taken some steps to fulfill the obligations in the triple memorandum they signed with Turkey, Çavuşoğlu said, “We do not ignore the steps taken. However, there is no concrete development yet on some issues, especially on extradition and freezing terrorist assets,” he said. Drawing attention to the necessity of convincing the Turkish people and the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Çavuşoğlu said, “Yes, they made changes in the laws. They changed the constitution. All of these are positive steps, but we need to see their implementation,” he said. Underlining that these two countries made stronger statements than some of their allies after the terrorist attacks in Turkey, Çavuşoğlu said, “The statements are good. Determination is good, but we need to see concrete steps,” he said.
Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom, who met with Çavuşoğlu the previous day in Bucharest, also spoke optimistically and said, “After this meeting, yes, I have to say that I feel progress has been made. We are making progress on the implementation of the triple memorandum signed in Madrid,” he said.
‘DO NOT SHADE’
Stating that some allies, especially the USA, support terrorist organizations in Syria, Çavuşoğlu said, “This support must end. It’s enough that they don’t overshadow it,” he said. Reminding that Sweden and Finland showed their support for terrorist organizations in other NATO allies and said, “There are other countries, too,” Çavuşoğlu said, “They are right. I told them too. They recruit people, collect money, and continue their propaganda. They need to be terminated,” he said. Although France tried to block the part in the concluding statement of the meeting where the allies emphasized solidarity with Turkey due to the loss of life in the terrorist attacks, it had to give its approval in the end.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership. For final approval, Turkey asks Sweden and Finland to take concrete steps in the fight against terrorist organizations PKK/YPG and FETO. Only Turkey and Hungary remained in NATO that did not approve the membership of Sweden and Finland.