Finland, Sweden cooperation key to fight PKK terrorists: NATO chief Featured

It is important that Finland and Sweden address [Türkiye’s requests] for terrorists' extradition so long as the PKK is considered a terror organisation by all EU members, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.


PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by all members of the European Union (EU), including Sweden and Finland, and working together against the group and addressing [Türkiye’s] requests for extradition are fair and very important, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said.

"The main message [in the memorandum] is that they are going to work more closely together in fighting terrorism...The PKK is a terrorist organisation according to Finland, Sweden and all members of the European Union," Stoltenberg told reporters after attending a joint European Parliament-NATO session in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss results of the recent summit of the military alliance, which has recently taken place in the Spanish capital, Madrid.

"And to exchange intelligence, to work together, to also address requests for extradition, that is fair enough... It is important."

Türkiye's pending extradition requests

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO in May, a decision spurred by Russia's offensive in Ukraine. But Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, voiced objections to the membership bids, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.

Türkiye, Sweden and Finland signed an agreement after trilateral talks that took place ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid last month. The agreement allows the two Nordic countries to become NATO members, but conditions them to take steps on Türkiye's terrorism concerns and lift an arms embargo on Ankara.

According to the memorandum, the Nordic countries will address Türkiye's pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects, and investigate and interdict financing as well as recruitment activities of the PKK and other terrorist groups.

Still, the Nordic countries’ accession needs to be approved by the parliaments of all 30 NATO members.

Türkiye has called on Sweden and Finland to fulfil their promises before the ratification of the memorandum in Turkish parliament and says Ankara will continue to monitor whether the two Nordic countries comply with the deal.

"If they do not fulfil promised obligations, the memorandum will not reach Turkish parliament for approval," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the end of the NATO summit in Madrid.

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