Turkey NATO veto drives Swedish culture clash around Kurdish minister

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

A Kurdish member of the Swedish parliament finds herself the crucial swing vote in a “no confidence” motion while Turkey holds out for action over Kurdish connections before supporting Sweden’s NATO bid. 

The Swedish Democrats on Friday submitted a motion of “no confidence” against the Social Democrat Minister of Justice Morgan Johansson. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Thursday threatened to resign if the minister brought the motion to the floor and Johansson were to lose. 

The parliament sits evenly divided at 174 in favor and against the “no confidence” motion, with the crucial swing vote resting in the hands of former Peshmerga Kurdish fighter Amineh Kakabaveh, according to Bloomberg.

Kakabaveh played a pivotal role in Andersson’s election success, but now has indicated she may support the “no confidence” vote. Her vote rests on Andersson’s government upholding its side of an agreement to expand cooperation with the Syrian PYD group, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan labeled a terrorist group. 

NATO HEAD ‘CONFIDENT’ SOLUTION WILL BE FOUND WITH TURKEY TO ADMIT SWEDEN, FINLAND

“As long as our agreement holds, I will not support a motion of no confidence,” Kakabaveh recently said “I’m awaiting an answer.”

Andersson blasted her opposition party for trying to stir up controversy at a time when the country stands in a precarious position over its NATO application. 

“We now have three months to go before the election,” Andersson said during a speech before parliament. “We are in a very delicate situation for our and Finland’s application to NATO, and creating political turmoil and uncertainty is completely irresponsible.”

TURKEY’S ERDOGAN ACCUSES SWEDEN AND FINLAND OF SUPPORTING TERRORISM, POTENTIALLY THWARTING NATO ASPIRATIONS

Turkey stands in the way of Sweden joining NATO as any applicant requires full support from all native members of the alliance, and Turkey has raised concern over Sweden’s cooperation with Kurdish groups. 

“Our only expectation from our NATO allies is for them to show the same good faith to Turkey’s efforts aimed at protecting its own borders and reinforcing its security and stability,” Erdogan told members of parliament Wednesday, according to a Turkish news outlet. “We expect our allies to first understand our sensitivities and then to respect and finally, if possible, to support.”

UKRAINE GRANTS CITIZENSHIP TO RUSSIAN JOURNALIST WHO DENOUNCED WAR: ‘I TAKE THE SIDE OF THE VICTIM’

Kakabaveh is no stranger to controversy: Turkey has had her squarely in its crosshairs for years, starting with her time as a member of the Iranian Kurdish Peshmerga Komala group, during which time she also fought as part of the guerrilla forces. 

She spent a year on the run within Turkey before moving to Sweden as a quota refugee in 1992, according to her biography. Her relationship with Turkey came into sharp focus over the past month as Sweden attempts to join NATO over security concerns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“If you want to sell everything for NATO membership, then go ahead, but I think it’s awful,” Kakabaveh said in an interview with AFP. “It’s awful that everything depends on NATO membership, rushing it through and undermining democracy.” 

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report. 

Leave a Comment