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Finland's Left Alliance rejects deal with Turkey over Nato membership

FINLAND’S Left Alliance has rejected an agreement signed by ministers with Turkey on Tuesday in return for approval of Helsinki’s Nato membership application, branding it a “political demonstration.”

Former education minister Jussi Saramo argued that the document “does not bind Finland to anything” as it has not been discussed by the parliament’s committee on foreign affairs. 

Turkey had vowed to block Finland and Sweden’s applications to join the military alliance on the grounds that both countries support what Ankara has described as “terrorism.”

But its loose use of the term extends to the Kurdish diaspora, particularly supporters of jailed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan. 

Bullish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted that he would stick to his guns over the Turkish veto unless his demands were met. 

These also included an end to an arms embargo, the extradition of people on Turkish wanted lists and an end to support for the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. 

A document was signed by the three nations at a Nato summit in Madrid on Tuesday night, with critics warning of a “dark day for democracy and the sovereignty” of the Scandinavian nations. 

Swedish newspaper DN reported in the immediate aftermath of the agreement that the Swedish Security Service (Sapo) has compiled a list of about 10 Kurds who can be deported to Turkey. 

But it will face opposition to the agreement from Kurdish independent legislator Amineh Kakebaveh, whose vote the government relies on to pass legislation. 

Earlier this month, Swedish Prime Minister Madgalena Andersson gave the left-wing MP assurances that support for the Kurdish people would continue in future in return for her support in a de facto confidence vote. 

Although only a small grouping, the Left Alliance forms part of Finland’s government and is resolutely opposed to any clampdown on the country’s Kurdish community. 

At its conference earlier this month, the alliance agreed to campaign for the PKK to be removed from the European Union list of terrorist organisations. 

But, despite on paper opposing Nato membership, it said it would not resign from the Finnish government over the issue and would continue to work for world peace. 

Mr Saramo explained that there were no current arms sales between Finland and Turkey and the country has always taken the political line of not exporting weapons to Ankara.

“Arms export licences must continue to be weighed separately according to the government’s rules of the game. No weapons should be sold in a country that is waging an attack war or tramples on human rights, no matter which country it is," he said.

Mr Saramo also offered his continued support for the YPG and the Kurds “in their fight for democracy and against terrorism.”

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