NATO talks: Türkiye, Sweden, Finland to meet in Ankara

The fourth meeting on a permanent joint mechanism between Türkiye, Finland and Sweden will be held in the Turkish capital Ankara on Wednesday, Türkiye’s Communications Directorate said.

The meeting on Wednesday at the presidential complex will be chaired by Akif Cagatay Kilic, chief adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the directorate said.

The meeting will be attended by Stian Jenssen, director of the Private Office of the NATO secretary general; Jan Knutsson, state secretary of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, and Jukka Salovaara, permanent state secretary for the Finnish Foreign Ministry.

Although Türkiye approved Finland’s membership to NATO, it is waiting for Sweden to abide by a trilateral memorandum signed last June in Madrid to address Ankara’s security concerns.

Sweden passed an anti-terror law in November, hoping that Ankara would approve Stockholm’s bid to join NATO. The new law, effective as of June 1, allows authorities to prosecute individuals who support terrorist groups.

Turkish officials have said they hope the law bans shows of support for terrorist groups like the PKK, just as Sweden would not allow Daesh supporters to march in support of that terrorist group.

Addressing reporters in Washington, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it is “appropriate” for all NATO members, including Türkiye, to raise security concerns they have over NATO’s enlargement as Sweden looks to join the transatlantic alliance.

“It’s a process and it’s appropriate that during that process, every member of the alliance be able to raise any concerns or issues that it might have,” he said during a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart.

Extradition of man convicted of drug trafficking

The Swedish government decided to extradite a man who was convicted of drug offenses in Türkiye in 2013 and has been living in Sweden for five years.

Ashraf Ahmed, the president of the legal board of the Justice Ministry, told Swedish state television SVT that the Supreme Court decided to extradite the 35-year-old man to Türkiye in May and the government approved the court decision.

The man, according to Aftonbladet newspaper, demanded that he should not be extradited to Türkiye, citing his support for the PKK terrorist group and downloading of ByLock, the encrypted messaging app of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the July 15, 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye.

He was sentenced to more than four years in prison in Türkiye in 2013 for carrying a bag containing drugs.

After he was released from prison in Türkiye on parole, the man travelled to Sweden and was arrested there in August 2022 upon the request of the Turkish prosecutors.



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