Sweden has pushed back against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s claims that it is soft on terrorism, as Ankara continues to block the country’s bid for NATO membership.
Erdoğan is delaying Sweden and Finland joining the military alliance, saying the two Nordic countries support the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian sister group, the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
“Providing all sorts of support for the PKK/YPG terrorist organization and also asking us to support NATO membership is, to say the least, inconsistent,” Erdoğan said in a speech on Wednesday.
The Turkish leader also said Ankara had requested 30 “terrorists” from Sweden.
Swedish officials have insisted they are open to dialogue with Ankara. But in an unusually brutal way Tweeter On Friday, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde rejected the idea that her country supports terrorism.
“Due to widespread misinformation about Sweden and the PKK, we would like to remind that the Swedish government of Olof Palme was the first after Turkey to list the PKK as a terrorist organization, already in 1984,” Linde wrote. , noting that the EU “followed suit” in 2002.
Sweden’s position, the minister said, “remains unchanged”.
Current and former officials have indicated that Turkey’s objections could be part of a larger negotiation, as Erdoğan aims to extract concessions from the United States.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insisted on Thursday that a consensus could still be reached on Stockholm and Helsinki’s membership bids.
“I am convinced that we will quickly reach the decision to welcome Sweden and Finland into the NATO family,” he said.