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"...Sweden and Türkiye have worked closely together to address Türkiye's legitimate security concerns..."
On Monday, a day before the alliance's summit in the Lithuanian capital, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that Türkiye agreed to advance Sweden's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
After a three-party meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, Stoltenberg said at a press conference that Türkiye has agreed to forward Sweden's accession protocol to the parliament as soon as possible and ensure its ratification.
According to Stoltenberg, since the 2022 NATO summit, Sweden and Türkiye have worked closely together to address Türkiye's legitimate security concerns.
"Sweden has amended its constitution, changed its laws, significantly expanded its counter-terrorism cooperation against the PKK, and resumed arms exports to Türkiye, all steps set out in the Trilateral Memorandum agreed in 2022," Stoltenberg said.
Earlier on Monday, before leaving for Vilnius, Erdoğan said that his country would support Sweden's joining NATO if the European Union (EU) revived membership talks with Ankara, an unexpected move that some media claimed would "rock the alliance's unity."
❝Completing Sweden’s accession to NATO is an historic step that benefits the security of all NATO Allies at this critical time. It makes us all stronger and safer❞@jensstoltenberg welcomes Türkiye’s decision to forward Sweden accession protocols to parliament#NATOSummit
According to Stoltenberg, the two countries agreed to continue their cooperation under the Trilateral Permanent Joint Mechanism within the framework of the Trilateral Memorandum, and also under "a new bilateral Security Compact that will meet annually at ministerial level and create working groups as appropriate."
Sweden's NATO membership has been a key focus at the Vilnius summit. Ahead of the alliance's meeting, several organizations in Sweden have stepped up to voice their objections to the country's joining of the alliance.
Türkiye eventually lifted its objection to Finland's NATO accession earlier this year after Helsinki took "concrete steps" against such organizations. In April, Finland became NATO's 31st member state. However, Ankara continued to block Sweden's NATO bid.