Türkiye has agreed to send Sweden’s NATO Accession Protocol to parliament following a trilateral meeting, the alliance’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said Monday.
“I’m glad to announce that President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan has agreed to forward the Accession Protocol for Sweden to the Grand National Assembly as soon as possible and work closely with the assembly to ensure (its) ratification,” Stoltenberg told a news conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, where 31 leaders of the military alliance have gathered for a summit.
“Sweden agreed today, as an EU member, also to support actively the efforts to reinvigorate Türkiye’s EU accession process, and also to help to modernize the EU-Türkiye customs unions and visa liberalization,” he said.
He underscored that Sweden’s cooperation with Türkiye in the fight against terrorism will continue beyond accession and both countries agreed to establish a new bilateral security compact.
Stoltenberg added that the alliance will establish for the first time a post of Special Counter-Terrorism Coordinator for “stepping up its work in this area.”
Answering Anadolu’s question about the Special Counter-Terrorism Coordinator’s role in the fight against terrorist organizations, Stoltenberg said: “This will strengthen our efforts. It’s also something which has been asked for by Türkiye, and I’m glad that also is part of this agreement today.”
In a joint statement following the meeting, Sweden reiterated that it will not support the YPG/PYD terrorist organization as well as the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye.
The session also agreed to work towards eliminating sanctions and removing obstacles in defense trade and investments among allies. Meanwhile, a top Turkish official said Türkiye received “full support” for its EU accession process, including the lifting of sanctions and visa liberalization.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson confirmed that his country will establish a new bilateral security dialogue with Türkiye for cooperation. Türkiye’s decision to back Sweden’s NATO bid was also welcomed by the leaders of the US and UK.
US President Joe Biden said he stands ready to work with Erdogan and Türkiye “on enhancing defense and deterrence in the Euro-Atlantic area.”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called Türkiye’s decision to forward Sweden’s NATO accession “an historic moment for NATO that makes us all safer.”