The new Swedish government should now address security concerns that Türkiye has raised under a deal struck on the sidelines of the NATO Madrid summit for the Nordic state to be able to join the alliance, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Wednesday.
Çavuşoğlu said Türkiye had not expected Sweden to take steps before last Sunday's election but the next government in Stockholm must now make a move on the issue.
"They know this agreement will not be approved by the (Turkish) Parliament unless they take (steps)," he said.
Sweden's right-wing opposition holds a narrow lead over the ruling center-left bloc as counting nears its end.
According to a readout of a briefing with reporters in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu said a meeting between the three countries on Aug. 26 showed the Nordic states had not yet acted on Türkiye’s concerns.
"The following outcome has emerged: no concrete steps have been taken up to today," he said.
The three countries signed an accord to lift Ankara's veto in exchange for counterterrorism promises, but Türkiye has said it will block the membership bids if pledges are not kept. It has sought the extradition of 73 people from Sweden and a dozen others from Finland.
Officials from the three countries agreed in August to keep meeting in the coming months to discuss Türkiye’s concerns.
"There is an agreement and the requirements of this deal are clear. These must be fulfilled," Çavuşoğlu said.
Among its many shattering consequences, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted Sweden and Finland to abandon their long-held nonaligned status and apply to join NATO as protection against an increasingly aggressive and unpredictable Russia – which shares a long border with Finland. Under NATO treaties, an attack on any member would be considered an attack against all and trigger a military response by the entire alliance.
Only Türkiye has opposed their applications, demanding concessions from Helsinki and Stockholm in return for approval.
A deal was struck between the three countries in June, which included provisions on extraditions and sharing information, clearing the way for NATO to formally invite the Nordic nations to join the alliance.
However, Ankara has insisted it could still block entry into the Western alliance – which requires ratification by all NATO member states – if it feels Sweden and Finland fail to deliver on their promises.