The Swedish government will redouble efforts to implement the trilateral memorandum signed with Türkiye, which would open the door for the Nordic country to join NATO, Sweden’s newly elected Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Thursday.
Speaking at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Kristersson said: “The trilateral memorandum has established new platforms for cooperation in the fight against terrorism between Sweden and Türkiye. Counterterrorism is a priority for Sweden ahead of and after our accession to NATO.”
“I am very prepared to go to Ankara as soon as possible,” Kristersson added, saying that he conveyed this to Türkiye and that a timetable is being planned.
“We take our commitments very seriously,” he underlined.
“We now are implementing a new legislation – that would mean a lot for our possibilities to fulfill our obligations according to the agreement. We now have more tools to prove in practice that we are delivering what we promised," Kristersson said further.
“The accession process for Sweden and Finland has been the fastest in NATO’s modern history. Nearly all allies have completed their national procedures. So, prime minister I welcome your commitment to the trilateral memorandum signed by Türkiye, Sweden and Finland to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism,” Stoltenberg said for his part.
“We all agree on the importance of the memorandum and the need to address Türkiye’s legitimate security concerns.”
Stoltenberg also said that he welcomed the concrete steps Sweden is taking to implement the memorandum “ending any restrictions on arms sales to Türkiye, significantly enhancing cooperation on counterterrorism, prohibiting participation in terrorist organizations including the PKK.”
For Sweden and Finland to become NATO members, their applications must be ratified by all 30 NATO members. So far, 28 have already done so – only Türkiye and Hungary have votes still pending.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO in June, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine.
However, Türkiye voiced objections to the membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.
A trilateral memorandum at the NATO Madrid summit signed among the countries in June stipulates that Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the PKK's Syrian offshoots, the YPG and the PYD, or the Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ) – the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye.
Sweden and Finland agreed earlier this summer to assure Türkiye of their support against security risks.
Among Türkiye’s demands were the repatriation of some suspects and Sweden lifting its arms embargo.
Sweden said that it is ready to supply weapons to Türkiye as part of its bid to join NATO.