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FM-Turkey's Decision On No NATO Ratification 'Unwelcome' But Expected


Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom speaking following the announcement from the presidents of Turkey and Finland that while Finland's NATO accession would be ratified by the Turkish parliament, Sweden's joining the alliance still does not have Ankara's approval. Billstrom says it is 'Still a question of when, not if, Sweden becomes a member of NATO.' Says that 'Turkey's decision to go ahead with NATO ratification of Finland [is] unwelcome, but [we] were prepared for it.'

  • Billstrom: 'Our military integration into NATO is continuing...We are doing everything in the Madrid agreement, not more not less.'
  • Billstrom: 'Decisions in extradition cases can be negative or positive because we have an independent judicial process.' The minister is referring to the extradition of 120 Kurdish dissidents demanded by the Turkish gov't. Ankara claims these individuals are terrorists associated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorist group, and has made their repatriation a condition of ratifying Sweden's NATO accession.

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