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NATO

Turkey’s president threatens yet again to ‘freeze’ Sweden’s Nato bid

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday renewed his threat to "freeze" the Nato membership bids of both Sweden and Finland unless the military alliance complies with Ankara's conditions.

Turkey's president threatens yet again to 'freeze' Sweden's Nato bid
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets supporters at a gathering at the Fatih district of Istanbul on July 15. Photo: Ozan Kose/AFP

At a Nato summit in Madrid at the end of June, Erdogan called on the two countries to “do their part” in the fight against terrorism, and accused them of providing a haven for outlawed Kurdish militants.

Speaking on Monday, the eve of three-way summit with Russia and Iran, Erdogan told reporters: “I want to reiterate once again that we will freeze the process if these countries do not take the necessary steps to fulfil our conditions”.

“We particularly note that Sweden does not have a good image on this issue,” the Turkish leader added.

Earlier this month Nato kicked off the accession procedures for Sweden and Finland after a deal was struck with Turkey, which had blocked the Nordic nations from joining.

Erdogan has accused both countries of being havens for Kurdish militants, specifically highlighting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) he has sought to crush, and for promoting “terrorism”.

He is due to board a plane to Tehran on Monday evening for talks on Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raissi, from whom he hopes to get the green light for armed intervention in northwest Syria.

Ankara has been threatening since late May to launch an operation to create a 30-kilometre (19-mile) “security zone” along its border to tackle Kurdish fighters waging an insurgency against the Turkish state.

Both Tehran and Moscow have already expressed their opposition to such an offensive. Russia, Turkey and Iran are all major players in the war that has ravaged Syria since 2011, with Moscow and Tehran supporting the regime of Bashar al-Assad and Ankara supporting rebels.

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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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