STOCKHOLM — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Monday said he was pleased that the Swedish government had confirmed its willingness to address Turkey’s concerns in order to assume the obligations of future NATO membership.

After decades of military nonalignment, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced Finland and Sweden into applying to NATO membership in May. Recep Tayyip Erdan, Turkey’s President, has accused the Nordic countries of supporting terrorist Kurdish militants. He has vetoed the entry of the Nordic nations until they alter their policies.

Sweden takes “the Turkish concerns very seriously” as well as “not at all their security concerns when fighting terrorism,” stated Magdalena Andersson, the Swedish Prime Minister. She also said that her “ambition was that these matters should be resolved.”

Stoltenberg stated that Sweden has already begun to modify its anti-terrorism legislation and that the Scandinavian nation “will ensure that their legal framework for arms exports will reflect the future status of a NATO member with new commitments towards allies.”

He stated that “These are two crucial steps to address the concerns Turkey has raised.”

He stated that the goal was to resolve those issues as quickly as possible to be able welcome Finland and Sweden to full membership as soon as possible.

Stoltenberg declined comment to state whether the matter should be resolved prior to the NATO summit in Madrid, June 28, or before the Swedish Parliament elections on Sept. 11. Sweden and Finland were invited to the meeting in Spain.

Stoltenberg, Andersson and others went on Monday’s talks for a boat ride along the lake near a Swedish government manor south of Stockholm.

Stoltenberg met in Finland with Finnish President Sauli Ninisto on Sunday. He stated that Turkey has “legitimate concern” about terrorism and other important issues.


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