Turkey Lifts Veto on Sweden’s NATO Bid, Setting Stage for Summit

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Turkey Lifts Veto on Sweden’s NATO Bid, Setting Stage for Summit

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Turkey on Monday lifted its veto on Sweden’s NATO bid, a move that paves the way for the two Nordic countries to join the 30-member alliance and for Finland to do so as well.

The breakthrough came after four hours of talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Swedish and Finnish counterparts, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and President Sauli Niinisto.

In a joint statement, the leaders said Turkey had agreed to support the two countries’ membership bids “subject to the conclusion of the necessary legal, political and technical work.”

The statement did not specify what that work entailed, but it is likely to include measures to address Turkey’s concerns about Sweden’s and Finland’s support for Kurdish groups that Turkey considers to be terrorists.

The summit in Vilnius, which is also expected to focus on the war in Ukraine, is being seen as a test of NATO’s unity in the face of Russian aggression.

The decision to lift Turkey’s veto is a major victory for Sweden and Finland, which have been seeking NATO membership since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

It is also a boost for NATO, which has been looking to bolster its defenses in the wake of the invasion.

The summit is expected to be attended by all 30 NATO leaders, as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The leaders are expected to discuss ways to further support Ukraine, as well as to reaffirm NATO’s commitment to collective defense.

The summit is also expected to be a chance for NATO to showcase its unity in the face of Russian aggression.

The decision to lift Turkey’s veto is a major step forward in that effort.

Turkey unblocks Sweden Nato bid, setting stage for summit

 

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