Türkiye and Sweden reach agreement on NATO membership

NATO Photo

by Imtiaz Popat

On 10 July, 2023, President Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan of Türkiye, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson of Sweden, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met at the NATO Summit in Vilnius and reached and agreement for Sweden’s membership in NATO.

Since the last NATO Summit, Sweden and Türkiye have worked closely together to address Türkiye’s legitimate security concerns. As part of that process, Sweden has amended its constitution, changed its laws, significantly expanded its counter- terrorism cooperation against the PKK, and resumed arms exports to Türkiye, all steps set out in the Trilateral Memorandum agreed in 2022.

Sweden and Türkiye agree today to continue their cooperation under both the Trilateral Permanent Joint Mechanism established at the Madrid NATO Summit 2022, and under a new bilateral Security Compact that will meet annually at ministerial level and create working groups as appropriate. At the first meeting of this Security Compact, Sweden will present a roadmap as the basis of its continued fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations towards the full implementation of all elements of the Trilateral Memorandum, including article 4. Sweden reiterates that it will not provide support to YPG/PYD, and the organisation described as FETÖ in Türkiye.

Both Sweden and Türkiye agreed that counter-terrorism cooperation is a long-term effort, which will continue beyond Sweden’s accession to NATO. Secretary General Stoltenberg also reconfirmed that NATO categorically condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. NATO will be significantly stepping up its work in this area, including by the Secretary General establishing, for the first time at NATO, the post of Special Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism.

We commit to the principle that there should be no restrictions, barriers or sanctions to defence trade and investment among Allies. We will work towards eliminating such obstacles.

Sweden and Türkiye have also agreed to step up economic cooperation, through the Türkiye-Sweden Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO). Both Türkiye and Sweden will look to maximise opportunities to increase bilateral trade and investments. Sweden will actively support efforts to reinvigorate Türkiye’s EU accession process, including modernisation of the EU-Türkiye Customs Union and visa liberalisation.

On this basis, and given the imperatives of the deterrence and defence of the Euro- Atlantic area, Türkiye will transmit the Accession Protocol for Sweden to the Grand National Assembly, and work closely with the Assembly to ensure ratification.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.