Sweden has the choice to fulfil its commitments and prevent terrorist provocations targeting Türkiye that endanger the Nordic nation's NATO bid, says Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Cavusoglu also criticised the recent closures of some Western consulates in Istanbul.
Cavusoglu also criticised the recent closures of some Western consulates in Istanbul. (AA Archive)

Stockholm is "deliberately" stepping on mines laid out by terrorists on its path to NATO membership, the Turkish foreign minister has said, referring to recent terrorist provocations in Sweden that target Türkiye as "mines".

"It is for Sweden to decide whether to clear the mines or step on them. If you step on them, they will explode," Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday during an address in the southern Turkish province of Antalya.

If Sweden fulfils its commitments made in a tripartite memorandum for NATO accession, "we will sit down, talk and keep our word," Cavusoglu added.

Last June, Türkiye and the two Nordic countries signed a memorandum at a NATO summit to address Ankara's security concerns, paving the way for their eventual membership in the alliance.

In the memorandum, Sweden and Finland agreed not to provide support to terror groups such as the PKK and its offshoots, and FETO, and to extradite terror suspects to Türkiye, among other steps.

But Turkish officials say the countries, particularly Sweden, have yet to take the necessary steps against terrorism.

Talks on the Nordic membership bids stalled after recent provocative demonstrations and Quran burnings in Stockholm, prompting Finland to consider joining NATO without Sweden.

READ MORE: Terrorism, Nordic bids and NATO’s revolving doors

Consulate closures

Cavusoglu also criticised the recent closures of some Western consulates in Istanbul, saying: "If you do not take a step back, we will take the necessary steps" by summoning ambassadors to the Foreign Ministry.

"They say they received information on security threats. If you do not share the information with us, we look for the intent behind this and we know that these actions are deliberate," Cavusoglu said.

"We even know that some ambassadors are calling others to join the move. We summoned them to the ministry. We have made the necessary warnings. We said that we know what you want to do, and you are trying to show Türkiye as unstable," he added.

Cavusoglu's remarks came a day after Türkiye summoned ambassadors of Western countries, including the US, to criticize their decision to temporarily shut diplomatic missions and issue security alerts following recent burnings in Europe of Islam's holy book the Quran.

The ambassadors of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK were also summoned to the Foreign Ministry, according to Turkish diplomatic sources, who were told that such simultaneous acts do not show a proportional and prudent approach, but instead serve the "insidious agenda of terrorist groups."

READ MORE: Closure of some Western consulates in Istanbul 'deliberate': Cavusoglu

Source: AA