Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that if the Nordic nations did not comply, Ankara would not accept them into the alliance.

Cavusoglu also addressed US-Türkiye ties, saying relations are “relatively positive”.
Cavusoglu also addressed US-Türkiye ties, saying relations are “relatively positive”. (AA Archive)

Sweden and Finland have to comply with a recent memorandum signed with Türkiye to be part of NATO, Türkiye's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.

"If they do not comply, we will not accept them into NATO," Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a live interview with Turkish broadcaster NTV on Monday.

He stressed the importance of the deal, saying: “For the first time, the YPG/PYD were added to a NATO document.”

When asked about how binding the memorandum is, Cavusoglu said: “First of all, they are committed to full cooperation with Türkiye in the fight against the PKK and its extensions."

“There is also a commitment to lift the defence industry embargo and restrictions, and to increase cooperation.”

He also pointed out the two Nordic countries’ commitment to fight terrorism and update their defence industry legislation.

“If these countries do not keep their word, we will take our steps accordingly,” he said.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG/PYD is its Syrian offshoot.

READ MORE: Erdogan: Time to see implementation of commitments by Finland, Sweden

Security deal

Sweden and Finland shunned neutrality and applied to join NATO in May, a decision spurred by Russia's offensive in Ukraine.

But Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, voiced objections to the membership bids, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.

Türkiye, Sweden and Finland signed the agreement after trilateral talks that took place ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid last week.

The agreement allows the two Nordic countries to become NATO members, but conditions them to take steps on Türkiye's terrorism concerns and lift an arms embargo on Ankara.

Following the trilateral deal, NATO formally invited Sweden and Finland to join the 30-member military alliance.

Ties with US, Israel

In his interview, Cavusoglu also addressed ties between Türkiye and the US.

Relations are “relatively positive” and negotiations on purchase of new F-16s have been successful, he said.

The foreign minister added that if threat emerges against Türkiye in Syria, the country will take matters into its own hands.

Cavusoglu also hailed the normalisation process between Ankara and Tel Aviv, saying the government change in Israel will not affect improving relations.

READ MORE: US govt 'supports' F-16 fighter jet sales to Türkiye

Source: TRTWorld and agencies