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War in Ukraine: Turkey ready to validate Sweden’s entry into NATO “in the coming weeks”

Nature

Hungary must also ratify Sweden’s membership.

There Türkiye declared to the Sweden that it intended to ratify within a few weeks its accession to the military alliance of theNATOSwedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom announced on Wednesday.

There Sweden and Finland asked to join NATO following the invasion rRussian from Ukraine, launched in February 2022, marking a historic security shift.

Finland became the 31st member of the Alliance last April, while Sweden’s candidacy remained blocked by Turkey and Hungary.

Final obstacles

“I had a conversation with my colleague, the (Turkish) Minister of Foreign Affairs (…) who told me that he hoped that ratification would take place in the coming weeks”declared Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom during a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

Turkey had no immediate comment. Ankara has asked Stockholm to take more measures to fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), declared illegal by Turkey, so that Sweden’s membership in NATO can be ratified.

Sweden, which passed an anti-terrorism law and lifted restrictions on arms exports to Turkey, says it has met all conditions to become a member of the military alliance.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a bill to the Turkish Parliament in October approving Sweden’s accession to NATO, a move welcomed by Stockholm for which it is one of the final obstacles to its entry into the military alliance.

More than a matter of time

Within NATO, some thought that Sweden’s membership was only a matter of time and that it would have been validated on the sidelines of the meeting in Brussels.

“The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs (Hakan Fidan, editor’s note) did not set a date but spoke of ‘a few weeks’. He thinks that the ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership will take place in the coming weeks . That’s what he told me yesterday,” added Tobias Billstrom.

Hungary must also ratify Sweden’s membership.

“(Prime Minister) Viktor Orban reiterated that Hungary will not be the last to ratify Sweden’s membership,” Tobias Billstrom said.

“This means that it is more in the hands of Ankara than of Budapest,” he added, saying he hoped that a Hungarian approval would lead to a positive decision from Turkey.

Nature

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