BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 5. Demonstrators in Sweden are trying to prevent the country from joining the North Atlantic Alliance, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters following a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Trend reports.
Stoltenberg noted that freedom of assembly and expression are among the core values of democratic societies and must be protected and respected. However, they are aware that these demonstrations create difficulties.
"The organizers of these demonstrations are trying to prevent Sweden from joining NATO. At the same time, they are trying to prevent Sweden from cooperating with Türkiye in the fight against terrorism. It also weakens NATO. We must not let them succeed," he said.
Stoltenberg said that at the meeting with Erdogan, they also agreed that the Permanent Joint Mechanism would meet again on June 12.
Stressing that NATO membership will make Sweden stronger and will also make both NATO and Türkiye stronger, Stoltenberg said he would like Sweden's NATO accession process to be completed as soon as possible.