Türkiye postpones discussions on law proposal to approve Sweden's NATO accession protocol

The Turkish parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee postponed discussions on Thursday on a law proposal to approve Sweden's NATO accession protocol.

The law proposal approving Finland's NATO accession protocol had previously been accepted, but the changing global security environment created a situation that needed to be addressed first, Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akcapar said, adding that there is a profound period of change and transformation at the international level, which compelled the committee to suspend discussions on the issue, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

Pointing out that the security of the Baltic and Northern geographies has become even more crucial for the NATO alliance after the Russia-Ukraine war, Akcapar said, "Sweden, one of the strategically important countries in this region, has decided to join NATO after the start of the war, abandoning its policy of neutrality in defense and security.

"We have emphasized from the beginning of the process that Sweden, as our prospective ally, should consider our country's legitimate security concerns and act in the spirit of the alliance."

He said Sweden and Finland have committed to preventing the financing and recruitment activities of the PKK terrorist organization, not providing support to FETO and PKK/PYD, taking legal steps in the fight against terrorism, and lifting restrictions on extradition and deportation processes and defense industry.

He mentioned that a permanent joint mechanism has been established among the three countries for the follow-up of the steps taken, saying, "Looking at the transformation and steps taken by Sweden during this process, the Swedish government and public have begun to better understand our country's legitimate security concerns. In this process, both at the government and public levels, shortcomings have been questioned, and the era of self-criticism has begun."

Akcapar said they saw this transformation through statements made by Swedish government officials, which indicate a paradigm shift in policy.

Pointing out that Stockholm pledged to adhere to its commitments Akcapar said "The Swedish government implemented changes in legislation within the scope of the fight against terrorism. In this context, a constitutional amendment was enacted to penalize joining a terrorist organization.

“Joining a terrorist organization was criminalized for the first time in Sweden. Sweden took concrete steps to combat terrorism, including the activities and financing of the PKK.”

The PKK-affiliated circles can no longer find a safe haven in Sweden, as they once did, he said.

He said Sweden has prepared a draft roadmap as part of bilateral contacts and had informed Türkiye about it.


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