Türkiye demands EU membership path for Sweden’s NATO bid

Türkiye has demanded the resumption of the full membership talks with the European Union to consider the accession of Sweden into NATO, a day before the critical alliance's leaders' summit in Vilnius.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan departed to Vilnius on July 10 to attend the summit and hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of the prominent allies, including United States President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

On his first day in Lithuania, Erdoğan was also scheduled to hold a trilateral meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Sweden's bid to join NATO. He also planned to meet Charles Michel, the president of the EU Council.

At a press conference before his departure, Erdoğan linked Swedish efforts to join the alliance and Türkiye's 50-year-long waiting to become an EU member. Recalling that most of the NATO members are also in the EU, Erdoğan said "I want to address those countries that have kept us waiting on the doors of the EU for 50 years. First, open the way to Türkiye's membership of the European Union, and then we will open it for Sweden, just as we had opened it for Finland."

Türkiye approved Finland's joining of the alliance in Finland after the Nordic state fulfilled the Madrid Agreement signed between Türkiye, Sweden and Finland. The deal stipulates concrete steps in the fight against terror.

Erdoğan said he discussed Türkiye's long-stalled EU bid path in his phone conversation with U.S. President Biden late on July 9. "I told him that this is the expectation of our nation for 50 years. We are Türkiye, not an ordinary country," he stated.

The Turkish...

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