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Sweden to continue talks with Turkiye on NATO membership

'We accept PKK is a terrorist organization,' says Swedish foreign minister

Atila Altuntas   | 15.05.2022
Sweden to continue talks with Turkiye on NATO membership

STOCKHOLM

Sweden was unable to reach a solution with Turkiye in talks early on Sunday about the Scandinavian country's expected NATO membership application, but will continue negotiations, the Swedish foreign minister said.

"We did not reach a solution with Turkiye, and decided to continue the talks," Ann Linde said after meeting with her Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu at an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in the German capital Berlin, where they discussed her country's expected application for NATO membership.

Noting that Sweden was unable to agree with the Turkish side "because of the formation in the north of Syria," Linde stressed: "We accept that the PKK is a terrorist organization."

"We don't think the same about the formation in northern Syria, and neither do many NATO countries.

"Like the US and other NATO countries, we have met with Kurdish organizations in northern Syria," she pointed out.

Cavusoglu had stressed before the NATO meeting that Sweden and Finland openly supported the PKK, which is listed as a terror group by the EU. The YPG is its Syrian offshoot.

"This also negatively affects the feelings of our people," the Turkish foreign minister added.

"Therefore, a country that will become an ally should clearly not support the PKK/YPG, the terrorist organization that attacks us, our soldiers, our police, and our civilians every day."

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US, and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

*Writing by Merve Berker

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