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NATO agreement with Turkey ‘a good day for Sweden’: Swedish PM

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Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on Monday said he was “very happy” that Sweden reached an agreement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to support its application to join NATO, Agence France-Presse reported.

“We take a very big step towards the formal ratification of Sweden’s membership in NATO. It has been a good day for Sweden,” Kristersson told reporters ahead of a key alliance summit in Vilnius.

Erdoğan agreed Monday to forward Sweden’s application to join NATO to his parliament for approval, the alliance’s head Jens Stoltenberg said.

A separate joint statement was issued, outlining the agreement between Sweden and Turkey.

Turkey has been blocking Sweden’s membership bid, accusing Stockholm of harboring Kurdish activists and political dissidents Ankara regards as terrorists.

“President Erdoğan commits to proceed with the ratification of Sweden’s accession to NATO as soon as possible,” Kristersson said.

He added that the two countries “continue our joint efforts to combat organized crime and terrorism,” as well as agreed to “deepen cooperation on the economy, trade, investments.”

On Monday, Erdoğan also demanded that the European Union revive Turkey’s stalled EU membership bid as a precondition for Sweden joining NATO.

“From the Swedish side we continue to advocate closer cooperation between the Union and Turkey,” Kristersson said.

But Kristersson said that Sweden has not committed to anything outside the statement.

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