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Sweden and Finland reaffirm their support for Turkey in its fight against terrorism, according to Ankara, which is blocking their entry into NATO

Sweden and Finland on Friday reaffirmed their commitment to fight the « terrorism »Turkey said after a meeting in Finland between Turkish, Swedish and Finnish representatives on the NATO membership of the two Nordic countries, blocked for the time being by Ankara. “Finland and Sweden reiterated their commitment, recorded in the trilateral memorandum [signé fin juin]to show full solidarity and cooperation with Turkey in the fight against all forms and manifestations of terrorism”says the statement issued by the office of the spokesman of the Turkish presidency.

Since mid-May, Turkey, a member of the Atlantic Alliance, has been blocking this process, accusing the two countries of protecting Kurdish fighters, considered terrorists by Ankara. The day after the signing of the memorandum opening access to NATO to the two Nordic nations, Turkey asked them for the extradition of thirty-three people whom it considers to be terrorists. In the process, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, spoke of a « promise made by Sweden » concerning the extradition of “73 terrorists”. The memorandum signed at the end of June announces only that “Finland and Sweden will respond to extradition requests” formulated by Ankara, without mentioning any figures.

To date, twenty-three NATO member states – out of thirty – have ratified the membership application of the two Nordic countries. Of the seven remaining countries – Spain, Portugal, Greece, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Turkey – only the latter expressed opposition. Stockholm and Helsinki abandoned their traditional policy of staying out of military alliances by announcing their desire to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine.

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