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Sahlin seeks clarification on Sweden’s NATO ties

Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin has demanded clarification from the government over Sweden's relationship to the NATO military alliance.

Sahlin seeks clarification on Sweden's NATO ties

In an open letter to Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Foreing Minister Carl Bildt, Sahlin claimed that “key ministers within the government are pushing different positions on Swedish cooperation with NATO.”

Sahlin, together with the party’s foreign affairs spokesperson Urban Ahlin, argued that she had repeatedly sought clarification on several important issues regarding neutral Sweden’s relationship with the military alliance.

“Should we really commit ourselves to NATO’s defence obligations regarding other countries in the Baltic region? Do we really want to see Swedish JAS Gripen fighter aircraft in NATO airspace defending NATO territory?” said Mona Sahlin to news agency TT.

“The government has not been open nor given any clear confirmation. I can see a slide towards a NATO membership which I do not want to happen,” she said.

The open letter was handed out to journalists in connection with a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs on Monday. The purpose of the committee is to provide a forum for the government and the opposition to discuss important foreign affairs and security policy issues.

“If Mona Sahlin had any serious questions about this, then she should have addressed them to the committee, where the prime minister, defence minister and foreign minister were in attendance,” Carl Bildt told TT.

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NATO

Turkey forms ‘permanent committee’ to assess Swedish Nato deal

Turkey on Thursday said a new "permanent committee" would meet Finnish and Swedish officials in August to assess if the two nations are complying with Ankara's conditions to ratify their Nato membership bids.

Turkey forms 'permanent committee' to assess Swedish Nato deal

Finland and Sweden dropped their history of military non-alignment and announced plans to join Nato after Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of
February. All 30 Nato members must ratify the accession.

Nato member Turkey has demanded the extradition of dozens of suspected “terrorists” from both countries under an accession deal the three signed last month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to “freeze” the process over Sweden and Finland’s failure to extradite the suspects.

He accuses them of providing a haven for outlawed Kurdish militants. “If these countries are not implementing the points included in the
memorandum that we signed, we will not ratify the accession protocol,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reaffirmed in a televised interview.

He said the committee would meet in August but provided no details.Turkey’s parliament has broken for its summer recess and will not be able
to hold a ratification vote before October. Some Turkish officials have warned that the process may drag out until next year.

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