Tuesday, 5th July 2022
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Turkey’s Erdogan urges Swedish PM to end support to ‘terror’ groups: presidency

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Saturday urged Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson to take "concrete steps" to end financial and political support for "terrorist" groups, the presidency said

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during a press conference . (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Saturday urged Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson to take “concrete steps” to end financial and political support for “terrorist” groups, the presidency said.

Erdogan told Andersson in a phone call that “Sweden’s political, financial and weapon support to terrorist organisations must end,” it said.

Turkey has threatened to block Sweden and Finland’s bids for NATO membership, accusing both nations of backing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) listed as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

Erdogan said Turkey expects Sweden to “take concrete and serious steps” that show it shares Ankara’s concerns over the PKK and its Iraqi and Syrian offshoots, according to the presidency.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February has shifted political opinion in both Nordic countries in favour of joining the Western military alliance.

Membership requires consent of all 30 existing members but Turkey is putting a spanner in the works.

Sweden and Finland, while solidly Western, have historically kept a distance from NATO as part of longstanding policies aimed at avoiding angering Russia.

But the two nations both moved ahead amid shock over their giant neighbour’s invasion of Ukraine, which had unsuccessfully sought to join NATO.

Erdogan also told the Swedish premier to “lift restrictions imposed on Turkey in the defence industry” after the army’s Syria operation in 2019.