ANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he would try to make parliamentary ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership as smooth as possible, but added that Stockholm had still not taken sufficient action against militants Kurds.
Erdogan presented a bill approving Sweden’s candidacy for NATO. parliament ratified last month, a decision welcomed by the alliance and Stockholm. Turkey had initially raised objections due to what it said was Sweden’s hosting of groups. he considers a terrorist.
Speaking to reporters on Friday (November 3) aboard a return flight from Kazakhstan, Erdogan said Stockholm had taken certain measures regarding protests organized by the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), as well as only regarding arms embargoes against Turkey, but not regarding the activities of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). PKK in Sweden.
“Our duty was to submit this to Parliament as a first step, we did that,” he told reporters on his plane on Saturday, according to the Haberturk television channel.
Erdogan also said that planned discussions in parliament on Turkey’s state budget for 2024 would now take priority, suggesting that approval of Sweden’s NATO membership may not come quickly.
“But we will try to facilitate the work (of ratifying Sweden’s NATO candidacy) as much as possible. We will try to show positive efforts as much as possible at this stage, provided that our counterparts approach us in a positive manner .”
The bill must be approved by the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee before being voted on by the plenary general assembly. Erdogan would then sign it into law.
Sweden and Finland, long neutral, applied to join NATO last year to strengthen their security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Finland’s membership was sealed in April, but Sweden’s candidacy had been delayed by Turkey and Hungary.