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    NATO Chief Says Turkey Agrees to Move Ahead with Sweden’s Acceptance into the Alliance

    NATO Chief Says Turkey Agrees to Move Ahead with Sweden's Acceptance into the Alliance

    VILNIUS, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday that 's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to send 's accession protocol for joining NATO to the Turkish Parliament “as soon as possible” and to help ensure that the assembly approves it.

    Stoltenberg made the announcement after talks with Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on the eve of a NATO summit in Lithuania. Sweden's NATO accession has been held up by objections from Turkey since last year.

    “This is an historic day because we have a clear commitment by Turkey to submit the ratification documents to the Grand National Assembly, and to work also with the assembly to ensure ratification,” Stoltenberg told reporters.

    Earlier Monday, with NATO hoping to put on a public display of unity in its support for Ukraine more than 500 days into the war, Erdogan said that he would block Sweden's path unless European members of the military organization “pave the way” for Turkey to join the world's biggest trading bloc.

    His surprise announcement added new uncertainty to Sweden's bid to become the alliance's 32nd member. Turkey was already blocking its entry because Erdogan believes that Sweden has been too soft on Kurdish militants and other groups that he considers to be security threats.

    On arriving in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, where U.S. President Joe Biden and his counterparts…

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