The head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, issued a request on Sunday for Ankara to withdraw its objection to Sweden’s bid to join the defense alliance, stating that Stockholm has addressed Turkey’s security concerns. Stoltenberg made the statement on behalf of NATO.
After meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Stoltenberg made the following statement to the press: “Sweden has taken significant concrete steps to meet Turkey’s concerns.” “Sweden has finished meeting all of its commitments.”
Stoltenberg was one of many foreign leaders to attend Erdogan’s grandiose inauguration event in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Saturday. Erdogan was inaugurated after being re-elected to serve as president of Turkey for another five years.
Turkey, which is already a member of NATO, has been dragging its feet over inviting Sweden to join the military alliance. It is one of only two member countries, along with Hungary, that has not yet ratified the membership request.
In April, Finland became a member of the alliance in an official capacity.
Erdogan has made the accusation that Sweden provides a safe haven for “terrorists,” particularly members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is a group that Turkey and its Western allies consider to be a terrorist organization.