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Turkey doesn't want to see Swedish weapons in PKK shelters: Altun

06:25 23 June 2022 Author :  

Turkey must be convinced that no Swedish weapons will end up in the hands of terrorists, Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said Wednesday.

Answering the questions of Svenska Dagbladet, one of Sweden's leading newspapers, regarding Sweden's NATO membership application, Altun said: "Greenlighting Sweden's entry into NATO means we are committed to protecting the Swedish people in the event of an attack. If we are to undertake such a responsibility for Sweden, we must be firmly convinced that terrorist attacks are not carried out against Turkish citizens with the money collected in Sweden and that Swedish weapons will not come out of terror shelters in Syria or Iraq."

Asked if Turkey had changed its view of Sweden's application for membership, he said that the Swedish government had not even acknowledged that there was a problem a few months ago.

Pointing out that Sweden's application for NATO membership reveals two facts, Altun emphasized first the PKK terrorist organization's influence in Sweden with the members of the organization blackmailing the Swedish government due to the arithmetic of the Assembly and that they spend all their time to gain advantages for the organization.

Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But the bids have faced opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it says is Helsinki and Stockholm's support for terrorist groups and arms embargoes on Ankara.

Last week, Turkey said documents it received from Sweden and NATO in response to the earlier written demands it presented the two candidates were far from meeting its expectations and any negotiations must first address Turkish concerns.

While the two Nordic countries said talks to resolve the dispute would continue, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said recently that Ankara had not received any responses to its demands, including stopping support for terrorist groups, lifting arms embargoes on Ankara and extraditing terrorism suspects it seeks.

NATO leaders will convene in Madrid on June 29-30. Any NATO membership requires the approval of all 30 members of the alliance. Turkey has been a NATO ally for more than 70 years and has the alliance's second-biggest army./DS

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