Future of Sweden's NATO Bid Questioned as Ruling Party Confirms Kurdish Deal as Valid

NATO flag - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.06.2022
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Turkey – a NATO member since 1952 with its second largest army, trailing only the US, has refused to accept Finland and Sweden, citing their support for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and the Kurdish militia (YPG), both of which are listed as terrorist organisations by Ankara.
Swedish Social Democrats party secretary Tobias Baudin has proclaimed that the agreement on cooperation with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian political party in the de facto autonomous region of Rojava with strong ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) remains valid.
The agreement in question was reached with political maverick and former Left MP Amineh Kakabaveh in November 2021 to garner her support for Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson as prime minister. This time, the deal was confirmed as valid to persuade Kakabaveh to abstain from supporting a no-confidence vote against Justice Minister Morgan Johansson presented by the opposition. Ultimately, it was done to prevent a government crisis, as Magdalena Andersson specifically threatened to step down if Johansson were felled. However, Johansson barely escaped by the skin of his teeth, with Kakabaveh's vote once again proving crucial.
Iranian-born Kakabaveh is a former Peshmerga fighter (the military forces of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq) who subsequently became a social worker and later a lawmaker. She is an avowed feminist originally from the Left Party, which she left as a result of a protracted quarrel with its leadership.
A masked Kurdish man waves a PKK's flag  - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.05.2022
Sweden's Ruling Party Accused of 'Giving In' to Turkey's Demands By Labelling PKK Terrorists
The Social Democrats' renewed PKK deal may jeopardise and even sink Sweden's opportunity for NATO membership, according to several analysts. Previously, Turkey accused Finland and Sweden, which now aspire to be NATO members, of harbouring terrorists, specifically referring to Kurds allegedly linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist organisation. They put forth a list of demands the two Nordic countries must meet in order for Ankara to green-light their accession.

“If it is true that she received, among others, party secretary Tobias Baudin's promise of continued support in the Kurdish issues, we can definitely say farewell to the NATO negotiations,” political scientist Marja Lemne told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Political scientist Ulf Bjereld suggested that Turkey and President Erdogan in particular “now have an opportunity to take advantage of the situation and (incorrectly) claim that Sweden allows terrorists to have political influence in the country”.
Turkey expert Halil Karaveli of the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm went so far as to venture that the deal, while a lifebuoy for the Social Democrat government, will ruin the country's NATO bid.

“This is the end of Sweden's NATO application. The way I see it, this shows that the Swedish government doesn't intend to meet Turkey's demands. The relationship between the US and Turkey is not very good, and Ankara really has nothing to gain from Sweden joining NATO,” he told the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

By contrast, Jan Hallenberg, research leader at the Swedish Foreign Policy Institute, argued that the Kurdish deal won't do any major damage for the Swedish cause. He ventured that several negotiation games are unravelling right now, not least between the US and Turkey over the deliveries of modern American-made fighter jets to persuade Ankara.
Peter Hultqvist - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.06.2022
Erdogan Wants Swedish Defence Minister Fired Over Party With Kurds – Report
Stockholm and Helsinki submitted their NATO membership bids on 18 May, citing a dramatic shift in the security situation in Europe, triggered by the Ukrainian crisis. Earlier, on 24 February, Russia launched a special military operation to "demilitarise and de-Nazify" Ukraine and protect the Donbass People's Republics from being attacked by Ukraine. The Kremlin has repeatedly stressed that the further expansion of NATO won't bring greater security to Europe.
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