Sweden has taken 'important steps' to meet Turkey's Nato objections

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Sweden has taken 'important steps' to meet Turkey's Nato objections
Sweden's PM Magdalena Andersson meets Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a press meeting at Harpsund. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden has already taken "important steps" to meet Turkey's demands for approving its Nato membership application, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday during a visit to Sweden.


"I welcome that Sweden has already started to change its counter-terrorism legislation and that Sweden will ensure that the legal framework for arms export will reflect the future status as a Nato member with new commitments to allies," he said during a press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.  "These are two important steps to address concerns that Turkey has raised."

Andersson reiterated her willingness to listen to Turkey's objections. "We take the Turkish concerns very seriously, not least the security concerns when it comes to the fight against terrorism." 

The meeting at Harpsund, Sweden's official prime minister's residence, comes less than a week after the ruling Social Democrats reaffirmed a deal struck with the independent MP Amineh Kakabaveh to support the Kurdish government in northern Syria, something that experts see as bound to anger Turkey. 


At the press conference, Stoltenberg said that Nato would protect Sweden during the longer-than-expected application period, using some of the strongest language he has yet given.  

"Seen from a security perspective, Sweden is in a better place now than before it applied", he said. "Nato allies responded by... issuing security assurances to Sweden."

If Sweden were attacked, he continued, it was "unthinkable that Nato allies would not react. That is a message that Nato allies have conveyed in a very clear way to any potential adversary".

"The goal," he added, "is of course a full membership as soon as possible. But then we need to deal with Turkey's objections." 

Stoltenberg said that that the Nato summit in Madrid on June 29th and 30th had never been a deadline for inviting Sweden to join Nato.


"There are bilateral and trilateral talks ongoing with Turkey right now. We are going to be very clear about how we fight against terrorism. We have tightened up our laws and had a much stricter laws around terrorism than we had previously," she said. "No one is in any doubt over how seriously Sweden sees terrorism and that Sweden is going to contribute to fighting terrorism."  

She said that in her meeting with Stoltenberg she had stressed "the importance of Sweden continuing its engagement with [nuclear] disarmament". 

Before the press conference, Stoltenberg took Andersson out in the Harpsundsekan rowing boat, just as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson did during his visit at the start of last month. 

READ ALSO: The history of Sweden's prime ministerial rowing boat 

Jens Stoltenberg took Magdalena Andersson out in the Harpsundsekan rowing boat. Photo Henrik Montgomery / TT


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