Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it known that he will invite, on the sidelines of the NATO summit, his country's partners to pave the way for Ankara's accession to the European Union, so that "Türkiye paves the way for Sweden's membership in NATO.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke on July 10 at a press conference in Istanbul before leaving for Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, to attend the NATO summit.
“I appeal to the countries that have made Türkiye wait at the door of the EU for more than 50 years (…) First, let’s pave the way for Türkiye in the EU, then we will open the way to Sweden, as we did to Finland,” he said.
“At the NATO summit, I will reiterate our call on allies who impose sanctions and restrictions on Turkey to quickly reverse this mistake,” President Erdogan added.
The Turkish head of state also recalled that Sweden’s membership of NATO depends on the resolution of the issues mentioned in the tripartite agreement signed last year on the sidelines of the organization’s summit held in Madrid.
“Sweden’s membership in NATO is also a matter for the Turkish parliament,” he stressed.
During the two-day NATO summit in Vilnius, leaders will address the issue of the war between Russia and Ukraine, the challenges it poses for NATO and steps to be taken to strengthen defense and deterrence within the military alliance. Sweden’s candidacy for NATO membership will also be on the agenda.
Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO shortly after Russia launched a war against Ukraine in February 2022.
Türkiye has approved Finland’s membership in NATO. Ankara is waiting for Sweden to respect the commitments made under the agreement signed in Madrid.
Recently, the Turkish president had stressed that Sweden could not hope to join NATO as long as it sheltered and gave the green light to terrorists and those who support them.
To join NATO, Sweden must obtain the approval of all its current members, including Turkey, which has been part of the alliance for more than 70 years.
On the war between Russia and Ukraine, Erdogan said: “We believe that a peaceful, just and lasting outcome to the war as soon as possible will facilitate Ukraine’s accession to NATO. “
Source Anadolu Agency