Sweden has met Turkey’s demands for NATO membership bid with new terror law: PM 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (L) hold a press conference following their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on November 8, 2022. Adem ALTAN / AFP

Sweden has met Turkey’s demands for its NATO membership bid with a tougher counterterrorism law that enters into force on Thursday, the Swedish Prime Ministry said on Twitter.

“With the new terrorism legislation entering into force June 1, we deliver on the last part of our agreement with Türkiye,” the prime ministry tweeted on Wednesday.

The new law makes it a crime to take part in a terrorist group, finance its activities, recruit others or travel abroad to support it.

In an opinion piece for the Financial Times, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said the fight against terrorism is an important point of the agreement his country had with Turkey. 

“Sweden fully supports Turkey against all threats to its national security and condemns all terrorist organisations, including the PKK, that carry out attacks against it,” Kristersson said in his op-ed. 

The new legislation, a key demand from Turkey to approve Stockholm’s NATO membership bid, was adoptedby Sweden’s 349-seat parliament in May.

When presenting the legislation in February, Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer said it was a “considerable widening of the scope compared to current legislation.”

In November the country amended its constitution to allow the bill to move forward, as it was deemed to infringe on Sweden’s freedom of association laws.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, Sweden along with Finland abandoned their long-held policy of non-alignment and applied to join the military alliance in May 2022.

In March the Turkish parliament unanimously ratified Finland’s application, and the country became the 31st member of NATO.

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