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Turkey to not back Sweden’s NATO bid until it takes action against PKK — top diplomat

Mevlut Cavusoglu recalled that Ankara expected Sweden to honor its memorandum on combating terrorist organizations, a condition for Turkey's approval of Stockholm’s NATO membership bid
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu AP Photo/Andrew Medichini
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
© AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

ANKARA, January 13. /TASS/. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has warned Sweden that Ankara will not support its NATO membership bid unless it takes decisive measures to counter the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), recognized as a terrorist organization in Turkey.

The top diplomat’s statement came in the wake of Thursday's pro-PKK rally in Stockholm, where insulting remarks were made against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a puppet resembling him was hung upside down on a pole in front of the town hall.

"The PKK is laying a mine for Sweden's membership in NATO. If the Swedish government does not respond appropriately to such actions, we will not provide the answer that Sweden is waiting for regarding its NATO membership bid. That's how open and clear it is. Sweden must make its choice," Cavusoglu said during a TRT TV broadcast.

The top diplomat recalled that Ankara expected Sweden to honor its memorandum on combating terrorist organizations, a condition for Turkey's approval of Stockholm’s NATO membership bid. The document was signed last June on the sidelines of the Madrid-hosted NATO summit.

Turkish authorities condemned the action of PKK supporters in Stockholm. Sweden's ambassador to Ankara was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Thursday and was issued a protest over the incident. Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop canceled a January 17 visit to Ankara by the head of the Swedish parliament, during which it was planned to discuss the Nordic country's membership in NATO.

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