Stoltenberg: Sweden has fulfilled its obligations for NATO membership
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said after a meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan that officials from Turkey, Sweden and Finland will meet in the week of June 12 for further discussions on Sweden's NATO membership bid, which has been delayed due to objections from Turkey and Hungary.
"President Erdogan and I agreed today that the permanent joint mechanism should meet again in the week starting on June 12. Membership will make Sweden safer, but also NATO and Turkey stronger," Stoltenberg told reporters on Sunday in Istanbul.
The permanent joint mechanism was set up to address Turkey's concerns about Sweden and Finland, the latter of which became the 31st member of NATO in April after Turkey's green light.
“Sweden has fulfilled its obligations,” for membership, Stoltenberg said. He noted that the country has amended its constitution, strengthened its anti-terror laws, and lifted an arms embargo on Turkey since it applied to join NATO just over a year ago.
Ankara accuses Stockholm of harboring political activists who Turkish authorities call "terrorists," and says the Swedish government is expected to further crackdown on such groups.