Hours before the summit of the I’LL TAKE In Lithuania, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for progress in Turkey’s accession process to the European Union in exchange for giving Sweden the green light to join the Atlantic Alliance.
“Türkiye has been waiting at the EU’s doorstep for over 50 years. I appeal to these countries that keep Turkey waiting. Open the way for Turkey to the EU and we will clear the way for Sweden, just as we paved the way for Finland,” Erdogan said at Istanbul’s Atatürk airport before flying to Vilnius.
The Turkish president will meet this afternoon with the Swedish prime minister, Ulf Kristerssonand the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenbergin a last attempt to reach an agreement for the entrance of Sweden to the Alliance, on the eve of the summit.
Stockholm has been wrangling for weeks to convince Ankara to give the green light to NATO membership, just as it did with Finland in April. “I will meet with the Swedish prime minister this afternoon. We want the promises made to be fulfilled. Turkey is doing its part as the country that contributes the most to NATO operations,” Erdogan said.
In response to Erdogan’s statements, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared that he “supports Turkey’s ambitions to become a member of the EU”, but recalled that they reached an agreement with Turkey to satisfy Ankara’s conditions for Sweden’s entry into NATO and that Stockholm has fulfilled its part of the bargain.