Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on Monday to send Sweden’s application to join NATO to his parliament for approval, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said.
After talks in Vilnius with Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Christerson, Stoltenberg said Turkey had agreed to proceed, declaring: “It is a historic day.”
“President Erdogan has agreed to send the accession protocol for Sweden to the Grand National Assembly as soon as possible and work closely with the assembly to ensure ratification,” he added.
A separate joint statement was issued between Sweden and Turkey outlining the agreement.
Turkey is blocking Sweden’s application to join the Atlantic alliance and accusing Stockholm of harboring Kurdish activists considered terrorists by Ankara.
And on Monday, Erdogan raised the stakes further, demanding that the European Union revive Turkey’s stalled EU membership bid as a precondition for Sweden joining NATO.
But a statement released after the three-way talks said Turkey and Sweden would work together on “anti-terrorism coordination” and also boost bilateral trade ties.
“Sweden will actively support Turkey’s efforts to reinvigorate the EU accession process, including the modernization of the EU-Turkish Customs Union and visa liberalisation,” the statement said.
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