After pressures by Turkey for Sweden to take action against political figures who Turkish authorities describe as ‘terrrorists’, including MPs, the Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde presented a new statement of foreign policy in the Swedish parliament, and said that ‘a new and tougher Terrorist Offences Act’ enters into force on 1 July.
Sweden will seek to make constructive progress in talks with Turkey on Ankara’s objections over the Nordic country’s application to join the NATO defensive alliance, Linde said.
“Sweden will contribute to the security of NATO as a whole, including Turkey, in the spirit of solidarity.”
She added that there should be no doubts that Sweden stood together with allies against terrorism:
“Sweden condemns terrorism in the strongest possible terms. A new and tougher Terrorist Offences Act enters into force on 1 July and the Government is preparing further tightening of terrorist legislation. There should be no doubt that Sweden will continue to stand firm alongside other like-minded countries in the fight against terrorism.”
The Swedish government recently survived a no-confidence vote on Tuesday with the help of independent deputy Amina Kakabaveh whose demands for support for Kurds in northern Syria could complicate the government’s attempts to join NATO, as an unanimous approval is required for new entrants.
Turkey demands that Sweden designates the Kurdish People’s Defence Units (YPG), the major component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who’s a part of the international coalition in the ongoing operations against the Islamic State in Syria, a ‘terrorist group’.
Turkey also calls upon the Swedish government to extradite Kurdish political figures who have sought asylum in the country, and to clamp down on Kurdish activists.