“We cannot approve Sweden’s membership without seeing steps.” Top news and events in EUROPE
The Turkish government stated that the “We can separate the membership process of Sweden and Finland” approach was brought to the attention of officials during recent high-level visits from both NATO and the US, and confirmed the view that “it is not possible to approve Membership in NATO without fulfilling Sweden’s commitments.”
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a press conference today following his meeting with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Peter Szijjártó in Ankara: “There are commitments regarding NATO membership. We cannot say yes to Sweden’s NATO membership without seeing these steps,” he said.
Stating that Turkey’s fears about terrorism should be satisfied by Sweden and Finland, Cavusoglu recalled that for this reason a tripartite memorandum of understanding was signed in Madrid with the participation of other allies.
Stating that Sweden has not taken satisfactory steps in terms of implementing the tripartite memorandum, Cavusoglu said: “There are some statements, determination and a new government. We see it. On the other hand, they have changed the constitution and some of the legislation, especially the anti-terrorism laws. The purpose of this change is clearly stated in the memorandum of understanding: “Stop illegal activities such as financing terrorism, recruiting people to terrorist organizations and terrorist propaganda,” he said.
Noting that all these activities continue in Sweden, Cavusoglu pointed out that Turkey does not link this only to the unacceptable insult and burning of the Koran.
Stating that this action is a crime of hatred and humanity, Cavusoglu said: “Regardless of what religion or holy book they belong to, such actions are unacceptable and are crimes against humanity. We have to fight this as an international community.”
Regarding Sweden’s NATO membership, Cavusoglu said: “There are commitments regarding NATO membership. We cannot say yes to Sweden’s NATO membership without seeing these steps.”
Recalling that a permanent mechanism and committee had been established under the memorandum, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that this was a proposal from Sweden and Finland, and they considered it beneficial. Pointing out that this mechanism is for the three countries to come together and consider whether the elements of the memorandum are being implemented, Cavusoglu said that two meetings had been held and the third meeting was postponed due to unacceptable actions against the Quran and an unsuitable environment. .
Third meeting in Brussels on March 9
Noting that the third meeting will take place on March 9, Cavusoglu said: “Let everyone see clearly that Sweden has not fulfilled its obligations. That’s why we said yes to holding it in Brussels.”
Pointing out that this mechanism is not negotiable, Cavusoglu said that it was not created for the purpose of negotiations on the membership of the two countries, but in order to see and understand whether this memorandum was implemented.
Noting that Turkey has clearly demonstrated this in both meetings, Cavusoglu said, “President Erdogan also made it clear. “We said (to Jens Stoltenberg). We said: ‘We can separate the process of membership of Sweden and Finland.’ President Erdogan himself said that we are more positive about the membership of Finland than Sweden.”
Emphasizing that they distinguish between problematic and less problematic, Mevlut Cavusoglu said that they evaluate objectively and that there is no other problem in bilateral relations with the two countries. Noting that relations with these countries are not bad and they are not enemies, Cavusoglu said: “But this is a serious problem. In fact, this is a problem for NATO. We cannot approve Sweden’s membership until Sweden fulfills these obligations. .”
Egyptian Foreign Minister today in Turkey
Egyptian Foreign Minister Semih Sukru also touched upon his visit to Turkey today in his speeches.
Stating that the entire international community has been mobilized to help Turkey since the first day of the earthquake, Cavusoglu noted that during this process, officials from many countries, including the Prime Minister, President, Head of State and Foreign Minister, arrived in Turkey, to show solidarity.
Cavusoglu said that Egypt has been among the countries that sent support to Turkey from the first day, that the first ship with humanitarian aid arrived, and the second will arrive in Mersin today.
Saying that the Egyptian minister also visited the region after the earthquake, Cavusoglu added that he would meet his counterpart Shukru in Adana and visit the earthquake area.
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