Swedish FM hopeful new law will boost cooperation with Türkiye

Swedish FM hopeful new law will boost cooperation with Türkiye

Baku TurkicWorld

Sweden's Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said he hopes the new counter-terrorism law will facilitate cooperation with Türkiye and other NATO members, TurkicWorld reports citing Daily Sabah.

Sweden has been under a high terrorism threat since 2010 and addressing it requires intense national and international efforts, Billstrom told a joint news conference with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau in Warsaw on Monday.

Billstrom thanked Poland for supporting Sweden's NATO membership bid and said the security of Europe is of utmost importance due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

"Sweden is ready to be an active and loyal ally from day one and contribute to the security of all allies," the top diplomat said, adding that all necessary preparations on their side have been completed.

"We are ready to contribute to the strengthened presence of NATO in the Baltic Sea region, air patrols, and other collaborations for national security, and we condemn all terrorist organizations, including the PKK, which carry out attacks," he underlined.

Although Türkiye approved Finland's membership to NATO, it is waiting for Sweden to abide by a trilateral memorandum signed last June in Madrid to address Ankara's security concerns.

Sweden passed an anti-terror law in November, hoping that Ankara would approve Stockholm's bid to join NATO. The new law, effective as of June 1, allows authorities to prosecute individuals who support terrorist groups.

Several foreign ministers hope that Türkiye would approve Sweden's bid ahead of a NATO summit which will be held in Lithuania's capital Vilnius on July 11-12.

For his part, Poland's Rau said Sweden made a historic decision to join NATO and Poland was one of the first countries to support its bid.

He emphasized that Sweden's NATO membership will create a new security framework, as the security of the Baltic region will also be boosted.

The Polish foreign minister also pointed out the need for support for the reconstruction of war-stricken Ukraine, and thanked Sweden for its support to Ukraine.

"But despite all this, there are issues that require the continuation of our dialogue. The EU has reached an agreement on common migration and asylum rules, but I think this is not appropriate," he added.

On Thursday, the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU announced that ministers from the member states agreed on a general approach on the asylum and migration procedures regulation during a Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting.

Poland, along with Hungary, voted against the proposal, while Bulgaria, Malta, Lithuania, and Slovakia abstained.

Under the proposed migration package, the EU countries would be bound by "mandatory solidarity" in migration policy, while having flexibility "regarding the choice of the individual contributions," including relocation and financial contributions.

Accordingly, the EU would commit to at least 30,000 relocations per year "from member states where most persons enter the EU to member states less exposed to such arrivals," officials said.

Furthermore, the deal includes a provision that imposes a €20,000 ($21,500) fine for each refugee a member state declines to accept.