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Swedish PM says will live up to terms of NATO deal with Turkey

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Sweden will live up to the conditions of a memorandum of understanding agreed with Ankara to overcome Turkey’s objections to Swedish membership in NATO, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

She also told a news conference that the decision to extradite a man to Turkey wanted for fraud made last week was made “according to Swedish and international law, and we will continue to work that way.”

As part of the deal, Turkey submitted a list of people it wanted Sweden to extradite but has since expressed frustration over the lack of progress.

The man, in his 30s, would be the first known case of an extradition to Turkey since the deal was struck.

“This is a normal routine matter. The person in question is a Turkish citizen and convicted of fraud offenses in Turkey in 2013 and 2016,” Minister of Justice Morgan Johansson told Reuters in a text message.

“The Supreme Court has examined the issue as usual and concluded that there are no obstacles to extradition,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice declined to say if the man was on the list of people Turkey has demanded to have extradited or to provide further comment on the matter.

In the agreement signed by Stockholm and Helsinki at the NATO summit in Madrid on June 28, the two Nordic countries agreed to examine Turkish extradition requests for political dissidents who are deemed “terrorists” by Turkey “expeditiously and thoroughly.”

There are conflicting figures about the number of people whose extradition Turkey is seeking from Sweden and Finland.

In a statement to the Swedish TT News Agency last month, Foreign Minister Ann Linde said Turkey had sought the extradition of 16 Turkish citizens from Sweden since 2019 but had to withdraw nine of its requests because those individuals do not live in Sweden. Linde also said while Swedish courts refused to extradite four people, three others were extradited to Turkey.

Yet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at the end of the NATO summit on June 30 that Sweden had made a “promise” to extradite “73 terrorists” and threatened to block NATO membership if the commitments were not met. Before this statement, there was only talk of the extradition of 33 people.

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