Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that “his country will support Sweden’s request to join NATO if the European Union begins membership negotiations with Turkey,” in a new and surprising Turkish demand, according to some observers.
In an interview with the Turkish newspaper Sabah, before leaving to attend the NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, he said, “First, let us open the way for Turkey to the European Union, and then let us pave the way for Sweden, just as we paved the way for Finland.”
“The progress of Sweden’s NATO membership process depends on the fulfillment of the issues recorded in the tripartite agreement. Nobody expects concessions from us,” he added.
He stressed the importance of the upcoming summit to enhance the work of the military alliance and support the alliance’s partners, especially Ukraine.
And he considered that “ending the war with a just and lasting peace as soon as possible will facilitate the process of Ukraine’s membership in NATO.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced, on Friday, that the alliance intends, during its summit next week in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, to adopt 3 defense plans for three geographical regions.
Stoltenberg said during a press conference: “After the summit, we will take further steps to strengthen our deterrence (policy) with three new defense plans to combat the main threats – Russia and terrorism. One plan for the North and the Atlantic Ocean, the other for Central Europe, and the third for the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions,” according to the agency. Russian “TASS”.
He also added that the leaders of the 31 NATO countries will “reaffirm” during the Vilnius summit that Ukraine will become a member in the future, without specifying a date.
And he added, “I expect our leaders to confirm once again that Ukraine will become a member of NATO, and to unite on a way to bring Ukraine closer to its goal,” without clarifying the formula that will be agreed upon, according to AFP.
He also stressed, “We are conducting consultations and looking for the exact formula that will be announced after we reach consensus.”
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