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Turkey: Sweden has yet to extradite suspects it seeks after NATO accord

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Cagla Gurdogan

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ANKARA, July 27 (Reuters) – Sweden and Finland have yet to extradite suspects Turkey seeks over terrorism-related charges despite signing an accord to lift Ankara’s veto to its NATO membership last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

The two Nordic countries applied for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but were faced with opposition from Turkey which accused them of imposing arms embargoes on Ankara and supporting groups it deems terrorists.

While Turkey has not set a firm deadline, it has said it expects the suspects to be extradited as soon as possible and that it was monitoring the situation closely.

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“Sweden maintains an ongoing dialogue with Turkey and Finland on the trilateral agreement which Sweden is following and will carry out in full in accordance with Swedish and international law,” a spokesman at Sweden’s Foreign Ministry said in an emailed comment.

The three countries signed an accord to lift Ankara’s veto in exchange for counter-terrorism promises, but Turkey has said it will block the membership bids if the pledges are not kept. It has sought the extradition of 73 people from Sweden and a dozen others from Finland.

Turkey’s foreign ministry summoned the Swedish charges d’affaires in Ankara to convey its “strong reaction” to what it called “terrorist propaganda” during a Kurdish group’s protest in Stockholm, diplomatic sources said at the weekend. read more

Officials from Turkey, Finland and Sweden will meet in August to evaluate the progress in meeting Ankara’s demands. read more

While Turkey holds off with its ratification for the two countries’ membership bids, 18 of NATO’s 30 members have already approved Sweden’s application to join the alliance.

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Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay, additional reporting by Simon Johnson in Stockholm;
Editing by Ali Kucukgocmen and Tomasz Janowski

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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