NATO chief to Erdogan: Sweden ‘has fulfilled obligations’ for membership

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg leaves a press conference following his meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Turkey June 4, 2023.
| Photo Credit: REUTERS

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Sunday called on Ankara to drop its opposition to Sweden’s bid to join the defence alliance, saying Stockholm has addressed Turkey’s security concerns.

“Sweden has taken significant concrete steps to meet Turkey’s concerns,” Mr. Stoltenberg told reporters after meeting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Sweden has fulfilled its obligations.”

Mr. Stoltenberg attended on Saturday the inauguration of Mr. Erdogan, who was re-elected to serve another five years, in a lavish ceremony joined by dozens of world leaders in the capital Ankara.

NATO member Turkey has dragged its feet over admitting Sweden to the military alliance. It and Hungary are the only two member countries yet to ratify the membership bid.

Finland formally joined the alliance in April.

Mr. Erdogan has accused Sweden of being a haven for “terrorists”, especially members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group blacklisted by Turkey and its Western allies.

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