Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says that Sweden remains the “centre of attraction” for Fetullah Terrorist Organisation and Stockholm is yet to take steps on the extradition of terrorist-related criminals and freezing terrorist assets.
Sweden has not taken any concrete steps to address Türkiye’s security concerns, the Turkish foreign minister said.
“There is no concrete development regarding the extradition of terrorist-related criminals and the freezing of terrorist assets,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference with his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billstrom in the capital Ankara on Thursday.
Cavusoglu said Sweden remains a “centre of attraction” for the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 failed coup in Türkiye.
“We welcome the extradition of a person who is not on our list. This week, the request for the extradition of a FETO member to our country was rejected by the Swedish Supreme Court, which is a very negative development,” the minister said.
PKK and FETO terrorist groups are not only a threat to Türkiye but to other countries as well, he added.
Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO in May, abandoning decades of military non-alignment, a decision spurred by Russia’s war against Ukraine.
But Türkiye – a NATO member for more than 70 years – voiced objections, accusing the two countries of tolerating and supporting terrorist groups.
This June, Türkiye and the two Nordic countries signed a memorandum at a NATO summit to address Ankara’s legitimate security concerns, paving the way for their eventual membership in the alliance.
Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu at news conference with his Swedish counterpart:
– No concrete development on extradition of terrorists, Türkiye expects more steps from Sweden, Finland
– Sweden continues to be centre of attraction for FETO terror members pic.twitter.com/m96jZFKgVj
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Fight against terrorism
“We do not want the impossible, we ask for your support in the fight against terrorism. Our relationship with you is at the strategic partnership level, we want you to understand the security concerns of the country you want to be an ally of,” Cavusoglu said.
He added that if the countries are to become NATO allies, Türkiye needs to see “concrete cooperation.”
“The Turkish people and our parliament need to be convinced. Türkiye will provide all kinds of support in steps that you will take in this direction,” Cavusoglu said.
Türkiye sees and appreciates the political will of the new Swedish government that they want to further develop their relations with Ankara, he stressed.
Türkiye also noted the “positive” steps taken by Sweden, Cavusoglu said, adding: “…they are making changes in their constitution. The statements that the (export) restrictions on products in the defence industry have been lifted are extremely positive.”
Billstrom, for his part, said Sweden keeps its promises, and it takes the trilateral deal “seriously.”
“We have initiated steps on every paragraph and we will continue to implement them. We have increased our legal cooperation with Türkiye concerning suspected terrorists,” Billstrom said.
The minister stressed that the two countries’ justice ministries and intelligence services are working in this regard.
“We have been taking concrete steps to fulfil our commitments,” he said, adding that Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership will benefit NATO.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies