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    HomePoliticsErdoğan makes Sweden tremble

    Erdoğan makes Sweden tremble

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    The fears continue: After it had sounded for a few days as if Turkey might be ready to agree to the Swedish NATO application, the old and newly elected President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan doubted Sweden’s accession until the NATO summit on Wednesday in Vilnius again. “Sweden has expectations, but that doesn’t mean we live up to those expectations,” Erdoğan said, according to the state news agency Anadolu. First, according to Erdoğan, Sweden must stop the “terrorist” demonstrations in Stockholm. “Until you solve this problem, we cannot agree to Sweden’s membership.”

    At the beginning of June, several hundred people gathered in Stockholm to demonstrate against Sweden’s entry into NATO and the new Swedish terrorism law that came into force on June 1st and bans participation in terrorist organizations. The law was seen as an important piece of the puzzle for Erdoğan and Turkey to approve Sweden’s application. Many of the demonstrators carried PKK flags. Erdoğan has repeatedly accused Sweden of being a haven for PKK terrorists.

    After Erdoğan was sworn in in early June, NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg announced that new talks would be held about Swedish membership, stressing that Sweden had met all of Turkey’s demands by introducing its terror law. Last Sunday, the new Turkish security advisor, Akif Cagatay Kilic, said that while there was still a lot to discuss, Sweden was now closer to Ankara’s approval than it was a year ago.

    Turkey hopes for American F-16 jets

    The Swedish delegation, which flew to Ankara on Wednesday for a new round of talks, sounded hopeful that they would finally get the motion through at the last minute for Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom to sit at the table as full members in Vilnius on July 11 can. According to observers, Erdoğan could also pursue other goals with his blockade policy, such as the delivery of fighter jets of the type F-16.

    US President Joe Biden has indicated several times that if Sweden is allowed to join NATO, the US is ready to grant this request. Biden repeated this offer when he called Erdoğan to congratulate him after his election victory.

    However, and Erdoğan knows this very well, the US Congress will ultimately decide on this deal. And there continues to be resistance to Turkey with American F-16 to equip. In any case, the negotiations between the Turkish and Swedish delegations on Wednesday ended without result: Sweden’s NATO negotiator Oscar Stenstrom said the meeting “advanced the process. But we are still a long way from the goal.”

    Things are also getting tight with regard to the second blockade by Hungary: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in May that relations with Sweden were “terribly bad” and that his country did not want to import the conflict into the defense alliance. Sweden had repeatedly sharply criticized the Hungarian government for its violations of the law. James E. Risch, the chief Republican on the Senate foreign policy committee, announced on Wednesday that the US would freeze a $735 million arms deal until Orbán signed the Swedish proposal. Hungary wants the US to win 24th Himars-Rocket launcher, over 100 rockets and other accessories. Other NATO member countries on the eastern flank of the defense alliance already have Himars-Systems delivered from the USA or received firm promises of their imminent delivery.

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