Sweden does not finance or arm terrorist organizations, Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson said Wednesday, opposing Turkey’s demands for support for Kurdish groups and opposition to NATO.
“Of course we are not sending money to the terrorist organization, we are not sending any weapons,” Anderson told a news conference in Stockholm.
His remarks came as Finnish and Swedish envoys began talks with Ankara on Wednesday, which Anderson said would provide an opportunity to clear up what he said were “misconceptions” about Swedish support for various groups.
Turkey opposes appeals from Sweden and neighboring Finland, especially Sweden, considering flexibility towards Kurdish militant groups in the Nordic countries.
Stockholm and Helsinki submitted their bids to join NATO last week, reversing decades of military demilitarization, following growing political and public support for membership following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A membership bid had to be approved unanimously, and many of the alliance’s 30 members were quick to welcome them.
Turkey, however, has accused Sweden and Finland of being hotbeds of terrorist groups, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has insisted that Ankara will not approve the two countries’ bids.
The Turkish presidency on Monday released a list of five demands to Sweden, including a call for an end to funding and arms supplies to Kurdish groups in Syria.
The two Nordic countries have also failed to respond positively to Turkey’s 33 extradition requests in the past five years, Turkish Justice Ministry sources told the state-run Anadolu news agency last week.
The agency said Turkey wanted individuals who were accused of having links to Kurdish militants or of being involved in a movement responsible for trying to oust Erdogan in 2016.
In particular, Turkey has reprimanded Stockholm for its leniency towards the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)