"Sweden has fulfilled its obligations" to Turkey. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who flew to Turkey to meet and congratulate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, fresh from his third term, tried to reassure the sultan on the moves of the Scandinavian country in an attempt to unblock the veto of Ankara that for thirteen months has been freezing Stockholm's entry into the Atlantic Alliance, reproaching it for a certain clemency towards the Kurdish militants it hosts on its territory.
"It is time for it to happen before the Vilnius summit" on July 11 and 12, when the 31 NATO heads of state and government will meet, indicated Stoltenberg who announced the creation of a "permanent mechanism" between the Alliance and Turkey and an upcoming meeting "on June 12", without specifying where it will be held. "Sweden has taken significant concrete steps to meet Turkey's concerns" related to the political asylum granted by Stockholm to members of the armed Kurdish PKK party, the Norwegian pointed out, recalling how in recent months the Swedish government has "amended the national constitution, ended the arms embargo and strengthened cooperation against terrorism, including against the PKK".
The secretary general then urged "not to allow" the organizers of the protests against NATO entry and against Turkey taking place in the Scandinavian country "to win" in their attempt to make the Alliance "weaker". "I look forward to finalizing Sweden's accession as soon as possible," he assured.
Stoltenberg, who yesterday was present in Ankara at the inauguration ceremony in Ankara of Erdogan, re-elected on May 28 for another five years at the helm of the country, also "thanked Turkey" that has deployed reinforcements in Kosovo.