Finland and Sweden signed a trilateral memorandum with Türkiye on Tuesday, pledging to address Ankara’s concerns over their stance toward the PKK and FETO terror groups to pave the way for their NATO membership.
The following are the commitments made by the Nordic countries:
1 – Finland and Sweden will not provide support to YPG/PYD, and the organization described as FETO in Türkiye. Türkiye also extends its full support to Finland and Sweden against threats to their national security. Finland and Sweden reject and condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, in the strongest terms. Finland and Sweden unambiguously condemn all terrorist organizations perpetrating attacks against Türkiye, and express their deepest solidarity with Türkiye and the families of the victims.
2 – Finland and Sweden confirm that the PKK is a proscribed terrorist organization. Finland and Sweden commit to prevent activities of the PKK and all other terrorist organizations and their extensions, as well as activities by individuals in affiliated and inspired groups or networks linked to these terrorist organizations. Türkiye, Finland and Sweden have agreed to step up cooperation to prevent the activities of these terrorist groups. Finland and Sweden reject the goals of these terrorist organizations.
3 – Further to this, Finland refers to several recent amendments of its Criminal Code by which new acts have been enacted as punishable terrorist crimes. The latest amendments entered into force on 1 January 2022, by which the scope of participation in the activity of a terrorist group has been widened. At the same time, public incitement related to terrorist offenses was criminalized as a separate offense. Sweden confirms that a new, tougher, Terrorist Offenses Act enters into force on July 1, and that the government is preparing further tightening of counter-terrorism legislation.
4 – Türkiye, Finland and Sweden confirm that now there are no national arms embargoes in place between them. Sweden is changing its national regulatory framework for arms exports in relation to NATO Allies. In future, defense exports from Finland and Sweden will be conducted in line with Alliance solidarity and in accordance with the letter and spirit of article 3 of the Washington Treaty.
5 – Türkiye, Finland and Sweden committed to the following concrete steps:
– Establish a joint, structured dialogue and cooperation mechanism at all levels of government, including between law enforcement and intelligence agencies, to enhance cooperation on counterterrorism, organized crime, and other common challenges as they so decide.
– Finland and Sweden will conduct the fight against terrorism with determination, resolve, and in accordance with the provisions of the relevant NATO documents and policies, and will take all required steps to tighten further domestic legislation to this end.
– Finland and Sweden will address Türkiye’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly, taking into account information, evidence and intelligence provided by Türkiye, and establish necessary bilateral legal frameworks to security cooperation with Türkiye, in accordance with the European Convention on Extradition.
– Finland and Sweden will investigate and interdict any financing and recruitment activities of the PKK and all other terrorist organizations and their extensions, as well affiliates or inspired groups or networks.
– Türkiye, Finland and Sweden commit to fight disinformation, and prevent their domestic laws from being abused for the benefit or promotion of terrorist organizations, including through activities that incite violence against Türkiye.
– Finland and Sweden will ensure that their respective national regulatory frameworks for arms exports enable new commitments to Allies and reflects their status as NATO members.
6 – For the implementation of these steps, Türkiye, Finland and Sweden will establish a Permanent Joint Mechanism, with the participation of experts from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, and Justice, as well as Intelligence Services and Security Institutions. The Permanent Joint Mechanism will be open for others to join.
7 – Türkiye also confirmed its long-standing support for NATO’s Open Door policy, and agrees to support at the 2022 Madrid Summit the invitation of Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO.
However, Turkish analysts are doubtful about Sweden and Finland’s commitments. They claim Scandinavian countries will support terrorism in indirect ways, e.g. via NGOs. PKK/YPG may find new three-letter acronyms to get the support, analysts add.