Erdogan: Sweden joining NATO in case of EU accession talks with Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip has called for a revival of Turkey’s accession talks to the EU in return for his approval of Sweden’s admission to NATO. Before leaving for the NATO summit, Erdogan said to the EU countries in Istanbul on Monday: “First smooth the way for Turkey into the European Union, then we smooth the way for Sweden, just as we smoothed it for Finland.”

The statement comes as a surprise. So far, Erdogan had cited Sweden’s insufficient action against “terrorist organizations” from a Turkish perspective as the main reason for Turkey’s blockade of NATO accession.

Sweden applied for NATO membership together with Finland in May 2022

In view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership in May 2022. Finland was welcomed as the 31st member of the alliance in early April, while Sweden continued to lack approval from Turkey and Hungary.

The EU had already started accession talks with Turkey in 2005. However, these were put on hold again a few years ago because Brussels saw unacceptable developments in the area of ​​the rule of law.

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