Stoltenberg: “Sweden has amended its constitution, changed its laws, significantly expanded its cooperation on counter-terrorism and resumed arms exports to Turkey”
The green light has arrived from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for Sweden’s accession to NATO. This was announced yesterday by NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, at a press conference in Vilnius on the eve of the Alliance summit. “I am pleased to announce that President Erdogan has agreed to transmit the accession protocol for Sweden to the Grand National Assembly as soon as possible. And to work closely with the Assembly to secure ratification,” said Stoltenberg who has ” had a constructive meeting” with the Swedish prime minister Ulf Kristersson and the Turkish president. But what has Erdogan achieved to give Stockholm the green light for entry into the Alliance? The answer is in Stoltenberg’s own words.
“The memorandum concluded a year ago at the Madrid summit has given its results – he said – It has made a contribution to our fight against terrorism. It has ensured more security for Turkey and a stronger NATO. Since our agreement in Madrid, Sweden and Turkey have worked closely to address the security issues posed” by Ankara. “As part of this process, Sweden amended its constitution, changed its laws, significantly expanded its counter-terrorism cooperation against the PKK, and resumed arms exports to Turkey,” added the secretary general of NATO.
“The cooperation between Sweden and Turkey in the fight against terrorism will continue after the accession” of Stockholm to NATO. “Turkey and Sweden agreed today (yesterday, ed.) to establish a new bilateral security agreement. NATO will also significantly step up its work in this area. The completion of Sweden’s NATO accession process is a historic step that It benefits the security of all NATO allies at this critical time. Sweden’s accession makes us all stronger and more secure.”
Today Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius, underlined that Europe and Turkey have “close ties. We are promoting closer ties, modernizing the Customs Union, producing better results on visa regulations, etc. There is it is fertile ground for closer cooperation”. The revision of the Customs Union is one of the counterparts requested by Erdogan in exchange for the green light for Sweden to join NATO.