Sweden says Turkey is asking too much about NATO’s request

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s prime minister said on Sunday that Sweden was confident Turkey would accept its application to join the NATO military alliance, but it could not meet all the conditions Ankara set for its support.

“Turkey both maintain that we did what we said we would do, but they also say they want things that we cannot or do not want to give them,” Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson told a conference of a defense think tank in Sweden.

Finland and Sweden signed a trilateral agreement with Turkey in 2022 aimed at overcoming Ankara’s objections to their NATO membership.

In May, they applied to join NATO in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Turkey objected and accused the countries of harboring militants, including from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

One point of contention has been the extradition of people Turkey considers terrorists. Ankara expressed its disappointment with a decision issued by the Supreme Court in Sweden late last year to stop a request for the extradition of a journalist with alleged links to the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accused of attempting a coup.

(Reporting by Johan Ahlander and Simon Johnson). Editing by Barbara Lewis

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