Sweden must stop protests by supporters of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Stockholm to get a green light on its Nato membership bid, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Nato’s Secretary-General in a phone call.

According to international media reports, Erdogan told Stoltenberg that Turkiye had a constructive attitude, but Sweden’s change of terrorism laws to meet demands from Ankara was “meaningless” while PKK supporters hold protests in the country, the Turkish presidency said in a statement.

“Turkey maintains its constructive stance regarding Sweden’s membership but that legislative amendments would be meaningless so long as PKK/PYD/YPG supporters organise demonstrations freely in this country,” according to a readout of the phone call between Erdogan and Stoltenberg.

Erdogan also stressed during the call, “the injustices faced within the context of the F-35s and the attempts to associate Turkiye’s requests about the F-16s with Sweden’s membership would harm Nato and its security rather than Turkiye.”

Stoltenberg said on Twitter he had a “good call” with Erdogan ahead of the upcoming Nato summit, where “important decisions on terrorism, deterrence and defense” will be taken. He added: “We will continue working together on Sweden’s accession to Nato.”

Turkiye ratified Finland’s Nato accession in late March, however, it raised objections to Sweden’s membership, alleging that Stockholm supported Kurdish militants, namely the PKK, which Ankara deems a terrorist organisation.


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