Swedish NATO membership within reach, says NATO chief Stoltenberg

Sweden joining NATO is within reach, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Thursday following a meeting in Brussels to overcome Turkish objections to Sweden joining the alliance.

"Now it is time for Sweden to join the alliance," he said, adding that it was possible that a positive decision will follow at the alliance's summit in Vilnius next week.

 Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Thursday that Sweden needs to put its anti-terrorism-related legal amendments into practice to be able to receive Ankara's approval for its NATO bid.

"Sweden took some steps regarding legal changes, removed defense industry restrictions against Turkey... The legal changes should be put into practice now," Fidan told reporters after a trilateral meeting with Sweden and NATO.