Turkey backs Sweden’s NATO entry
(Reuters) – Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan agreed Monday to support Sweden’s bid to join NATO, a move that will expand the military alliance and strengthen its Baltic flank as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine.
Erdogan agreed to forward the membership bid to parliament, appearing to end months of drama over an issue that had strained the bloc.
Here are key quotes about the agreement and reaction to it:
NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JENS STOLTENBERG
“I’m glad to announce … that President 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 ratification,” he told a news conference.
STATEMENT FOLLOWING TURKEY-SWEDEN-NATO MEETING
“Both Türkiye and Sweden will look to maximise opportunities to increase bilateral trade and investments. Sweden will actively support efforts to reinvigorate Türkiye’s EU accession process, including modernisation of the EU-Türkiye Customs Union and visa liberalisation.”
SWEDISH PRIME MINISTER ULF KRISTERSSON
“This feels very good, this has been my aim for a long time, and I believe we had a very fine response today and took a very big step towards membership,” he told a news conference.
U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN
“I welcome the statement issued by Türkiye, Sweden and the NATO Secretary General this evening,” he said in a statement.
“I stand ready to work with President Erdogan and Türkiye on enhancing defense and deterrence in the Euro-Atlantic area.”
UK FOREIGN SECRETARY JAMES CLEVERLY
“It is in everyone’s interest for Sweden to join @NATO. Their accession makes us all safer. The UK welcomes the steps Turkey has taken today to bring this closer,” he wrote on Twitter.
(Compiled by Costas Pitas, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)