NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a joint press conference with EU Council Leader Charles Michel and EU Committee Leader Ursula von der Leyen after the signing ceremony of the joint declaration on cooperation between NATO and the EU.
Asked for his opinion on Sweden’s statement that it would not be able to meet all of Turkey’s demands, Stoltenberg said, “I believe that the participation protocols of Sweden and Finland will be completed and that all NATO members will approve the participation protocols in their assemblies. This also applies to Turkey,” he said.
Emphasizing that the NATO participation process of the two countries was the fastest in the contemporary history of the alliance, Stoltenberg reminded that Sweden and Finland agreed with Turkey on the three-way memorandum signed at the NATO Hill in Madrid on cooperation in the fight against terrorism and lifting the arms sales restrictions.
“These are also being fulfilled. They have established a permanent mechanism where more information and intelligence is shared and they are working more closely against terrorist threats. Turkey has legal security concerns. No NATO ally has suffered as much from terrorism as Turkey. That’s why we should welcome more work from NATO allies and Sweden and Finland on this issue.”
Stoltenberg also stated that although Sweden and Finland are not NATO members now, they are at a very different point than before their membership application.
Reminding that some NATO countries, including the USA, have given security guarantees to Finland and Sweden, and that NATO has increased its presence in the region, Stoltenberg noted that the officials of the two countries now participate in NATO meetings and activities at many levels.
Stoltenberg said, “I see the importance of completing the participation protocols in Turkey and Hungary with the approval of their parliaments. I believe this will happen.”
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said a short time ago that they could not meet all of Turkey’s demands for his country’s NATO membership.