Turkey’s Erdogan Agrees to Back Sweden’s NATO Membership
Stoltenberg says Erdogan agreed to submit Sweden’s NATO bid to Turkey’s parliament
has agreed to back Sweden’s NATO membership on the eve of a two-day NATO summit in Lithuania.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Erdogan has agreed to submit Sweden’s accession protocols to Turkey’s Parliament, the Grand National Assembly, which needs to ratify Stockholm’s NATO membership.
The announcement came after Erdogan and Stoltenberg met with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. In a joint statement, the leaders noted the efforts Sweden has taken to placate Turkey since last year’s NATO summit in Madrid.
Turkey’s main gripe with Sweden is its alleged support for the PKK, a Kurdish militant group Turkey considers a terrorist organization. The statement said Sweden has “amended its constitution, changed its laws, significantly expanded its counter-terrorism cooperation against the PKK.”
Sweden also agreed to lift an arms embargo it placed on Turkey in 2019 over a Turkish attack against Kurds in northeast Syria. The statement said Sweden and Turkey have also agreed to establish a new “new bilateral Security Compact” that will meet annually.
“At the first meeting of this Security Compact, Sweden will present a roadmap as the basis of its continued fight against terrorism in all its forms,” the statement reads.
Erdogan’s approval brings Sweden one step closer to becoming the 32nd member of NATO. Sweden is still awaiting approval from Hungary, and it’s not clear at this point when Budapest will sign off on Stockholm’s bid.
By applying to join NATO, Sweden abandoned its long-standing policy of neutrality, which kept the country out of two world wars.
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