Breaking news. Turkey’s President Erdogan gives green light to Sweden’s NATO bid, says Stoltenberg

Turkey has decided to lift its veto on Sweden’s NATO membership, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a press conference on Monday night.

Speaking to reporters in Vilnius, the night before the NATO leaders summit in Lithuania’s capital, Stoltenberg said President Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Kristersson had agreed to terms to advance Sweden’s application to join the military alliance, following a meeting hosted by the NATO chief.

Stoltenberg said that “President Erdogan has agreed to forward the accession protocol for Sweden to the Grand National Assembly [Turkey’s parliament] as soon as possible and work closely with the assembly to ensure ratification.” 

On Twitter, he said he was “Glad to announce that after the meeting I hosted with President Erdogan and the Swedish prime minister (Ulf Kristersson), President Erdogan has agreed to forward #Sweden’s accession protocol to the Grand National Assembly ASAP & ensure ratification. This is an historic step which makes all #NATO Allies stronger & safer.”

Earlier on Monday, Erdogan had said that his country would support Sweden’s bid to join NATO if the European Union opens membership talks for Turkey. But Brussels quickly reiterated that joining NATO and joining the EU are two very different procedures.

Erdogan had stalled Sweden’s NATO accession, saying Stockholm was failing to crack down on Kurdish militants, which Ankara considers a threat to Turkey’s national security.

Turkey’s EU membership bid has been put on hold for what Brussels sees as democratic backsliding by Ankara over judicial reforms

Our journalists are currently working on this story and will provide updates as more information becomes available.

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