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International

Sweden, Finland need to boost cooperation with Türkiye — Stoltenberg

00:12, Thursday, 24 November, 2022
Sweden, Finland need to boost cooperation with Türkiye — Stoltenberg

NATO secretary general says Nordic countries should bolster collaboration with Türkiye as it fights terror groups — the PKK and its variants as well as FETO.

Sweden and Finland need to cooperate more with Türkiye and tighten their anti-terror laws to combat terrorist groups to join NATO, the alliance's top official has said.

The two Nordic countries should bolster cooperation with Türkiye in the fight against the PKK terrorist organisation and its offshoots, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Swedish public broadcaster SVT late on Sunday.

On why Türkiye has yet to join 28 fellow allies in ratifying Sweden and Finland's application to join NATO, Stoltenberg noted that Ankara's terrorism-related concerns were due to it having suffered more terror attacks than any other country in the alliance.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO in June, a decision spurred by Russia's attacks on Ukraine.

However, Türkiye voiced objections to the membership bids, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.

A trilateral memorandum at the NATO summit signed among the countries in June stipulates that Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the YPG/PYD, the PKK's Syrian offshoot, or to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) — the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the US, and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

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