Swedish delegation to travel to Turkey next week for Nato talks

An official Swedish delegation will travel to Turkey at the start of next month for talks about Sweden’s Nato application.

Swedish delegation to travel to Turkey next week for Nato talks
State Secretary Oscar Stenström, who leading talks on Sweden's NATO accession at the alliance's summit in Madrid in June. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Turkish news outlets have reported that a delegation from Sweden’s Ministry of Justice will be in Turkey October 5th-6th, and that the scheduled talks will deal with “the extradition of criminal terrorists” from Sweden to Turkey. The Ministry of Justice confirmed to TT that this meeting would take place, and that it would involve senior officials rather than ministers.

Turkey has demanded that people it describes as “terrorist suspects” be extradited from Sweden and Finland. The Swedish government maintains that Swedish citizens cannot be extradited. Further, the Swedish government has pointed out that Swedish law, which applies in Sweden, is applied by an independent court system.

While non-Swedish citizens can be extradited, this can only happen when the extradition is in line with Swedish law and the European Convention on Extradition.

Sweden’s outgoing foreign minister Ann Linde said on Tuesday that the Nato talks with Turkey were “moving along nicely”. 

“My judgement is that Turkey will say ‘yes’ to Swedish Nato membership, however, I do not know when that will be,” she said.

An agreement was signed in Madrid this June by Turkey, Sweden, and Finland, which has also submitted an application for Nato membership. Under that agreement, Turkey lifted its objections to the two countries’ Nato applications. Among the topics covered in that agreement were terrorism, arms exports, and extraditions.

Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson has said he will keep Oscar Stenström, the diplomat appointed by the Social Democrats to lead Sweden’s Nato process, in place when he takes over as Sweden’s new Prime Minister later this month. 

Only two of Nato’s 30 members have still to ratify Sweden and Finland’s accession: Turkey and Hungary.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Swedish PM: Turkey’s election could delay Nato decision

Sweden's prime minister, Ulf Kristersson, has warned that Turkey's election could delay a decision on Sweden's Nato membership as diplomats from the two countries meet for talks on the issue.

Swedish PM: Turkey's election could delay Nato decision

“They have an election in the early summer and domestic politics plays a role in every country,” Kristersson said on Tuesday, shortly before the foreign ministers of Sweden, Finland and Turkey were due to meet in Bucharest. 

“We have had a very good dialogue recently,” Kristersson said, pointing to talks between the two sides in Stockholm on Friday. “This was the first time Turkey clearly expressed a view that Sweden is really delivering and carrying out what was agreed between Sweden, Finland and Turkey. That was a good sign.” 

Sweden’s prime minister Tobias Billström was due to meet his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Cavusoglu alongside Finland’s foreign minister Pekka Haavisto on Tuesday at a Nato meeting in Bucharest, Romania. 

Ahead of the meeting Billström sought to downplay expectations. 

“We are going to have an exchange of opinions, but when it comes down to it, this is about living up to the tripartite agreement which was signed at the Nato summit in Madrid between Sweden, Finland and Turkey,” he said as he arrived at the meeting. “We believe that we have come a long way towards fulfilling the points in the agreement.”

The summit was the first Nato event attended by a Swedish foreign minister leading the delegation of a so-called ‘invitee’ nation. 

“I’m extremely happy to be here and that I believe it will be a productive meeting,” Billström said.