During a press conference on Sunday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson refused to answer questions about the promise Stockholm was to make to Ankara. In recent days, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the agreement, which saw the Turks abandon their opposition to Sweden’s joining NATO, would mean the extradition of 73 people residing in Sweden to Turkey.
Despite repeated urgings from journalists, Andersson refused to confirm or deny whether there really was such a commitment from the Swedes. There is great concern about this within the Kurdish community in Sweden these days.
“I’ve been a minister for eight years, and I’ve never really spoken about what was said at the negotiating table,” Anderson said. “That puts me in a bit of a difficult situation at the moment.”
On the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid earlier this week, Sweden, Finland and Turkey signed an agreement under which the two Scandinavian countries commit in writing to a “prompt and comprehensive” investigation of Turkey’s extradition requests. The text makes no promises about extraditions: Sweden and Finland have indicated that these requests will depend on what the independent courts decide.
But the Turkish president said on Thursday that Sweden had promised to hand over “73 terrorists”. At the same time, he threatened to block Sweden’s candidacy for NATO again if Stockholm failed to deliver on that promise.
In her answers to many questions about this pledge, Prime Minister Andersen continued to emphasize the Swedish position: the country will continue to respect national and international law, no Swedish citizen will be extradited and the courts will decide on the matter.
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