Sweden welcomes Turkish election result

Sweden welcomes Turkish election result
The victory of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party has been welcomed by Sweden's Foreign Minister. Carl Bildt wrote on his blog that the result gave Turkey "a new pro-reform government with a strong economic programme."

Sweden has taken a strong line in favour of Turkey joining the European Union. Bildt wrote that he was pleased that the new government was focused on the process of joining the EU “and the further democratic reforms that this requires.”

“There is reason to claim that European democracy has been consolidated in the country,” he said, and welcomed the fact that more Kurdish representatives had been elected.

He wrote that the fact that extreme nationalists had entered parliament was “hardly unexpected.” But he added that voters had not believed warnings that the AK Party had a hidden Islamist agenda or that an international conspiracy existed to break up the country.

Bildt also argued that those who claim that the military’s statements would reduce support for the AKP had been forced to eat their words.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt also welcomed the election results in an email quoted by Svenska Dagbladet:

“The parliamentary election in Turkey is one of the most important in Europe in recent times. Developments in Turkey are of great importance for the EU and the wider world.”

“Sweden fully supports Turkey’s continued moves towards full membership of the EU. It is vital that the incoming government injects new energy into the internal reform process, which forms the basis for negotiations about membership,” Reinfeldt wrote.