Stoltenberg said Monday that he was glad the Swedish government had confirmed its “readiness to address Turkey’s concerns as part of assuming the obligations of future NATO membership.”
The leaders of seven NATO nations from across Europe pledged their support Tuesday for Sweden and Finland’s bids to join the alliance and for providing more heavy weapons to help Ukraine battle Russia, AP reports.
The support was voiced after an informal gathering at Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s official residence in The Hague co-hosted by his Danish counterpart, Mette Frederiksen. The other leaders attending were Romania’s president and the prime ministers of Belgium, Poland, Portugal and Latvia.
“My message on Swedish and Finnish membership is that I strongly welcome that,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who also attended. “It’s an historic decision. It will strengthen them, it will strengthen us.”
But he said the alliance also has to take seriously concerns raised by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has vetoed membership for the two countries until they change their policies on supporting Kurdish militants deemed by Ankara to be terrorists.
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