Espreso. Global

Erdogan suggests parliament ratify Sweden's NATO membership. Stockholm responds

23 October, 2023 Monday
19:25

On October 23, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan submitted a protocol on Sweden's accession to the North Atlantic Alliance to the parliament for consideration

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This is reported by the Directorate of Communications of the Republic of Turkey.

"The Protocol on Sweden's NATO Accession was signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on October 23, 2023 and referred to the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye," the statement says. 

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson expressed his gratitude for this step, SVT reports.

"We are pleased that Turkish President Erdogan has submitted the ratification documents to the Turkish parliament. Now it is up to the parliament to consider this issue. We look forward to NATO membership," he said.

Pål Jonson, the Swedish Minister of Defense, also expressed his gratitude to Erdogan: "We look forward to becoming a full member as soon as possible. This is a good step in the right direction."

Sweden's entry into NATO

Sweden's request to join NATO faced unexpected objections from Turkey when Finland and Sweden applied for membership in May 2022.

Finland officially became the 31st member of NATO on April 4, 2023. 

However, Hungary and Turkey did not ratify Sweden's application. Turkey accuses Sweden of "supporting terrorism" and claims that Stockholm is harboring individuals Turkey considers terrorists.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson expressed hope in mid-March for Turkey to quickly ratify the protocol for Sweden's NATO accession after the elections in May. President Erdogan confirmed that Turkey will revisit the discussion on Sweden's NATO membership in June.

Following Finland's NATO accession, President Biden urged Turkey and Hungary to ratify Sweden's application. 

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Björström, along with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Swedish Defense Minister Jonsson, remain hopeful that Sweden will join NATO before the alliance summit in July.

On May 30, President Biden discussed Sweden's NATO membership with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He mentioned that the ratification issue would be addressed at the annual summit in Vilnius.

On June 2, Joe Biden announced that Sweden would join NATO in the near future. Subsequently, Thomas Nilsson, the Director of Military Intelligence and Security in Sweden, reported that Russia is attempting to hinder Sweden's NATO accession.

On June 14, the United States blocked the sale of HIMARS to Hungary because of Sweden's obstruction of NATO membership.

On July 5, the United States called on Turkey and Hungary to approve Sweden's membership in NATO as soon as possible, as the country has fulfilled all the requirements and obligations.

On July 9, US President Joe Biden spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the eve of the NATO summit in Vilnius, and they discussed Sweden's accession to NATO.

On July 10, Erdogan said that Ankara would approve Sweden's accession to NATO after Turkey's path to joining the European Union is opened.

On September 26, it became known that Erdogan would fulfill his promise to ratify Sweden's application for NATO membership if the administration of US President Joe Biden paved the way for the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Ankara.

On October 14, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that Turkey has no requirements for his country to ensure the ratification of its NATO membership application and expects this to happen "relatively soon."

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