Foreign Affairs
Sweden needs anti-terror law changes at NATO: Turkish Foreign Minister


Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed NATO expansion by phone ahead of the alliance’s summit this week. Earlier on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the European Union to resume long-stalled membership talks with Ankara, in exchange for Turkey’s acceptance of Sweden’s NATO membership, Xinhua news agency reported. The green signal was given to the bid.

On Sunday, Turkey’s president held a phone conversation with his US counterpart Joe Biden to also discuss Sweden’s NATO bid. According to a statement from Erdogan’s office, during the phone call, Erdogan said that “Sweden has taken some steps in the right direction towards the ratification of the NATO bid by making changes to its anti-terrorism law”.

However, the Turkish leader said these steps were “untenable” as supporters of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “continue to demonstrate freely in the country to advocate terrorism”. A White House statement According to, Biden on his part conveyed to Erdogan his desire to welcome Sweden into NATO as soon as possible. The two presidents agreed to meet face-to-face on July 11-12 at the NATO summit in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO last year but faced objections from Turkey because both countries harbour members of the PKK and the Gulen movement. Turkey finally dropped its objection to Finland joining NATO earlier this year after the Nordic country took “concrete steps” against such organizations by Ankara. In April Finland became the 31st member of NATO.

Foreign AffairsNATOTurkish Foreign MinisterTurkish Foreign Minister Hakan FidanUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken