Finland says it did not discuss specific extraditions with Turkey

2 minute read

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto speaks during a news conference with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau in Helsinki, Finland, July 1, 2022. Lehtikuva/Emmi Korhonen/via REUTERS

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HELSINKI, July 1 (Reuters) - Finland and Turkey did not discuss the extradition of any specific individuals or groups of people during negotiations at the NATO summit in Madrid this week, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said on Friday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Finland and Sweden must keep promises of extraditions made during the talks, or ratification of the Nordic nations' NATO memberships will not be sent to the Turkish parliament. read more

As a consequence of the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine, Russia's neighbour Finland has rushed to apply for membership in the Western military alliance to increase its security, bringing along Sweden to ditch decades not aligning themselves militarily.

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But Turkey had opposed their NATO bids over what it called support for Kurdish militants and others it views as terrorists, as well as over arms embargoes and unfulfilled extradition requests for Kurdish figures based in the two countries.

"We agreed that now we have a signed a text and everything that we have signed is in the text," Haavisto told a news conference in Helsinki, referring to a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday.

"We did not, in Madrid, discuss about any individuals or any listings (with Turkey)," he said.

After four hours of talks in Madrid on Tuesday, Turkey, Finland and Sweden signed a joint memorandum on security measures in exchange for Turkey lifting its veto on their NATO memberships, imposed by Ankara in May due to its concerns about terrorism. read more

The signed memorandum did not list any individuals for extradition.

Finland and Sweden have since said they would continue to follow local and international law in their extraditions and that the process would depend on what information was received from Turkey.

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Reporting by Anne Kauranen in Helsinki, editing by Terje Solsvik and Angus MacSwan

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