In this file photo dated May 20, 2022 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Istanbul, Türkiye. (PHOTO / TURKISH PRESIDENCY VIA AP)
ANKARA – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would be pleased to host new Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in Türkiye during a phone talk between the two leaders on Wednesday, after months of tension with the Nordic country over its NATO bid.
Erdogan told Kristersson that it is in the "common interest to prevent terrorist organizations from taking Sweden's NATO membership and its bilateral relations with Türkiye hostage," the Turkish presidency said in a statement.
Ankara was ready to enhance bilateral relations with the Swedish government in every field, the Turkish president said.
Erdogan also conveyed his congratulations to Kristersson for being elected as the new prime minister of Sweden, according to the statement.
Erdogan told Kristersson that it is in the "common interest to prevent terrorist organizations from taking Sweden's NATO membership and its bilateral relations with Türkiye hostage," the Turkish presidency said in a statement
Finland and Sweden's NATO bid was initially blocked by Ankara, which accused them of supporting anti-Türkiye groups as they rejected Ankara's extradition requests for suspects affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Gulen movement.
On June 28, Türkiye, Sweden and Finland agreed on a trilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) ahead of the NATO Madrid summit.
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In the MoU, Finland and Sweden pledged to support Türkiye's fight against terrorism, and agreed to address Ankara's "pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly."
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for more than three decades.
The Gulen Movement is led by and named after the US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen. The Turkish government accuses the movement of masterminding the 2016 failed coup in which at least 250 people were killed.
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