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Erdogan links approval of Sweden’s NATO bid with helping Turkey join EU

The Turkish leader addressed the countries that had been slowing his country down on the path to the EU for 50 years

ANKARA, July 10. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday linked the approval of Sweden’s bid to join NATO with helping Turkey become EU member.

"I want to call on countries that have been slowing us down on the path to the EU for 50 years: First, let’s clear Turkey’s way in the European Union, then let’s clear the way for Sweden, just as we paved the way for Finland," he said before departing to Vilnius for a NATO summit, in comments broadcast by TRT television.

Erdogan, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, then Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held talks in Madrid on June 28, 2022. As a result, a memorandum was signed making it possible for Sweden and Finland to join NATO. The Turkish parliament approved Finland’s membership on March 31, paving the way for the country to become NATO member on April 4. But Turkish lawmakers didn’t back Sweden's accession to the alliance, demanding that Stockholm comply with all provisions of the Madrid memorandum relating to counterterrorism.