Erdogan raises possibly nixing NATO-Nordics deal if promises not kept

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ANKARA, July 1 (Reuters) – An accord signed with Finland and Sweden to lift Turkey’s veto on their NATO membership bids is not the end of the matter and obliges the Nordic states to keep their promises, President Tayyip Erdogan was cited as saying on Friday.

After four hours of talks in Madrid on Tuesday, Erdogan and his Finnish and Swedish counterparts agreed on a series of security measures in return for backing by Ankara, which had raised concerns about terrorism and arms embargoes.

Speaking to reporters on a flight back from the NATO summit in Madrid, Erdogan said there was no need to rush ratifying the two bids in parliament. Ankara should first see if they keep promises made under the memorandum, including on extraditing suspects sought by Turkey, he said.

“This should be known: these signatures don’t mean the issue is done… Without our parliament’s approval, this does not go into effect. So there is no need to rush,” broadcaster NTV cited Erdogan as saying.

“The ball is in their court now. Sweden and Finland are not NATO members currently,” he added.

Asked about the extradition of suspects, Erdogan said if the Nordic countries did not send these individuals “then we will do what is necessary through our institutions and units.”

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Jonathan Spicer/Photo courtesy NATO

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