Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also says his country will monitor the implementation of the memorandum signed with Sweden and Finland — and take steps accordingly.
Sweden has promised to extradite 73 terrorists to Türkiye, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, describing Ankara's signing of a memorandum with Stockholm and Helsinki as a “diplomatic victory”.
Erdogan, who was speaking to the press after the closing of a NATO summit in Madrid, said Türkiye will monitor the implementation of the memorandum signed with Sweden and Finland — and take steps accordingly.
"We have strongly emphasised the message that we expect genuine solidarity from our allies, not only in words but also in action," he told reporters after the summit at which the Nordic countries were formally invited into the transatlantic defence alliance.
He said all of Türkiye's “sensitivities” had been included in the 10-article agreement, while calling on Sweden and Finland to fulfil their promises before the ratification of the security deal in Turkish parliament.
"If they do not fulfil promised obligations, the memorandum will not reach Turkish parliament for approval," Erdogan said. It is important to demonstrate NATO's determination to fight terrorism in all its forms, he added.
Sweden has promised to extradite 73 terrorists to Ankara, says Erdogan in Madrid pic.twitter.com/iN1xz8QlTr— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) June 30, 2022
Nordic NATO bids
Sweden and Finland applied to join the 30-member NATO alliance last month, a decision spurred by Russia's offensive against Ukraine. But Türkiye, a longstanding member, voiced objections, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terror groups.
The memorandum signed earlier this week paves the way for Sweden's and Finland's NATO entry.
It will address Türkiye's pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects, and investigate and interdict financing as well as recruitment activities of the PKK and other terrorist groups.
With Türkiye and the Nordic countries reaching an understanding, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has announced that the accession protocol for Sweden and Finland will be signed on Tuesday.
Still, after the signing, the protocol must be ratified by all 30 allied parliaments to allow the Nordic countries to become part of the transatlantic defence alliance.
Türkiye, a member of the Alliance for 70 years with the second-largest army, will have a say in NATO's future as it has in its past and present.— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) June 30, 2022
As we pursue our independent foreign policy we will continue to make the required contributions to NATO in the spirit of the Alliance. pic.twitter.com/skDBTcvTOu
Ukraine, F-16 and more
Türkiye will have a say in NATO’s future as it has in its past and present, Erdogan said later, on Twitter.
“As we pursue our independent foreign policy, we will continue to make the required contributions to NATO in the spirit of the Alliance,” he said.
In the press conference, Erdogan also called for intensified efforts to end the conflict in Ukraine, adding that there were "no losers in a just peace". "We should intensify our diplomatic efforts for a long-lasting ceasefire," he said.
To a question on US President Joe Biden’s remarks on the potential sale of F-16s to Ankara, Erdogan said a Turkish delegation will head to the US “without delay” to rally support from Republicans in Congress for the deal.
Earlier in the day, Biden said in a separate press conference that Washington “should sell” F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye.
"...I said that in December, and my position hasn’t changed since then. It’s not in our interests not to sell them. We need congressional approval to get there and I think we’ll get there," Biden said.