Swedish government on Wednesday expressed its deep concerns on backslide of human rights, rule of law and crackdown on the opposition and media in Turkey.
In an official statement submitted to the Parliamentary Debate on Foreign Affairs, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said “developments in the country in terms of human rights, respect for the rule of law, and the situation of the opposition and the media are deeply worrying.”
She also called on Turkish government to resume peace process to resolve Kurdish issue, adding that this would contribute to peace and security both in Turkey and regionally.
She reaffirmed Sweden’s support for Turkey’s membership to the EU by saying that “the Government gives priority to both a stronger Eastern Partnership and continued enlargement processes in the Western Balkans and Turkey.”
“Cooperation with Turkey remains strategically important for the EU”, she underlined.
Swedish foreign minister also noted that “the reunification of Cyprus is within reach. We encourage the parties to continue their efforts to achieve this goal.”
The statement reaffirmed that Swedish government would continue to spend efforts “to strengthen respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law “ as presented in the written communication submitted to the Riksdag, Swedish Parliament, in December.
She promised that country-specific reports on the situation in all regions of the world will be presented in the first half of this year.
These reports will cover issues such as the right to reasonable remuneration for work, discriminatory legislation, violence against women, racism, and discrimination on grounds of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more.
Wallström emphasized that free speech is under attack around the world. “Journalists and human rights defenders are being imprisoned and persecuted. Sweden supports those affected and works to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice”, she added.
Feb. 15, 2016