‘First, let’s pave way for Türkiye in EU, then we will pave way for Sweden just as we did for Finland,’ President Erdogan says ahead of NATO summit
Turkish President Erdogan on Monday said he will urge the NATO summit to open a path for Ankara’s EU membership so Türkiye paves the way for Sweden’s NATO membership.
“I am calling out to the countries that have kept Türkiye waiting at the EU gate for more than 50 years…
“First, let’s pave the way for Türkiye in the EU, and then we will pave the way for Sweden just as we did for Finland,” Erdogan said at a news conference in Istanbul before heading to Lithuania’s capital Vilnius to attend a NATO summit.
Erdogan also reiterated that Sweden’s NATO membership depends on the fulfillment of issues mentioned in the last year’s tripartite agreement signed in Madrid during a NATO summit.
Stockholm’s accession to NATO is also at the discretion of the Turkish parliament, he stressed.
During the two-day NATO summit in Vilnius, the leaders will address ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, its challenges to NATO, and steps to strengthen the military alliance’s defense and deterrence. Sweden’s bid to join NATO bid will be also on the agenda.
Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership soon after Russia launched war on Ukraine in February 2022.
Although Türkiye approved Finland’s membership to NATO, it is waiting for Sweden to fulfill its commitments under the deal.
Previously, Erdogan underlined that Sweden cannot hope to join NATO as long as it gives shelter and a green light for terrorists and supporters of terrorists.
To join NATO, Sweden needs the approval of all of its current members, including Türkiye, which has been in the alliance for over 70 years and boasts its second-largest army.