ISTANBUL (REUTERS) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Saturday (May 21) that Ankara expects concrete steps regarding its concerns about terrorist organisations, the state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.
In a phone call, Erdogan also said an arms exports embargo imposed on Turkey after its Syria incursion in 2019 should be lifted, according to Anadolu.
Finland and Sweden formally applied to join Nato on Wednesday, following Russia’s Feb 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Turkey surprised Nato allies last week by objecting to the two countries’ membership, but Western leaders have expressed confidence that Ankara’s objections will not be a roadblock for the Nato accession process.
Ankara says Sweden and Finland harbour people linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and followers of Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said on Saturday he had held “open and direct” talks with Turkey’s President Erdogan to discuss Finland’s bid for Nato membership.
“I stated that as Nato allies Finland and Turkey will commit to each other’s security and our relationship will thus grow stronger,” Mr Niinisto tweeted after the call.
“Finland condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Close dialogue continues.”