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Erdoğan tells NATO Sweden must stop Kurdish protests: report

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Sweden must stop protests by supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Stockholm to get a green light for its NATO membership bid, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in a phone call on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Erdoğan told Stoltenberg that Turkey had a constructive attitude but that Sweden’s change of terrorism laws to meet demands from Ankara was “meaningless” while PKK supporters hold protests in the country, the Turkish presidency said in a statement.

Turkey has objected to Sweden’s bid to join the Western military alliance, citing security concerns, but members of the bloc and the NATO chief have expressed hope that it will become a member in time for a mid-July summit in Vilnius.

Finland joined NATO in April, but Turkey continues to stall the ratification of Sweden’s membership.

Last week Erdoğan said Sweden should not expect a green light from Ankara at the Vilnius summit unless it prevents “anti-Turkey” protests.

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