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Turkey greenlights Sweden's NATO membership ahead of critical summit

Turkey’s president has suggested that Ankara’s stalled membership talks with the European Union be revived in exchange for greenlighting Sweden’s NATO accession to the ahead of a key summit in Vilnius.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Turkey agreed to advance Sweden’s NATO bid on Monday after intense diplomacy in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, where a two-day summit of the alliance is set to kick off Tuesday. 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced Monday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had agreed to ask its parliament to advance Stockholm’s bid to join the transatlantic alliance, calling it a "historic step which makes all NATO allies stronger and safer."

President Joe Biden swiftly hailed the news, saying he stood “ready to work with President Erdogan and [Turkey] on enhancing defense and deterrence in the Euro-Atlantic area." In a statement issued by the White House he added, "I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister [Ulf] Kristersson and Sweden as our 32nd NATO Ally. And I thank Secretary General Stoltenberg for his steadfast leadership.”

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