Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to back Sweden’s bid to join the NATO military alliance at a meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania on Monday.
Speaking on the eve of the Summit, NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said Erdogan “agreed to forward the accession protocol for Sweden to the grand national assembly as soon as possible, and work closely with the assembly to ensure ratification.”
Stoltenberg declined to give a date for when Sweden’s accession would be ratified by the Turkish parliament.
This news was welcomed by US President Joe Biden who said earlier on Sunday that he was working on a deal whereby Turkey would allow Sweden into NATO in return for the sale of US F-16 fighter jets to Ankara.
“Turkey is looking to modernise F16 aircraft. And (Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos) Mitsotakis in Greece is also looking for some help,” Biden told CNN.
“So what I’m trying to do honestly is to achieve a consortium where we strengthen NATO in terms of the military capability of both Greece and Turkey to allow Sweden to join the Alliance.”
The deal was on the condition the jets could not be used to threaten Greece in its ongoing maritime waters dispute with Turkey in the Aegean Sea.
Source: The Guardian.