Jens Stoltenberg, the head of NATO, declares that President Erdogan has consented to send the Swedish request to the Turkish parliament.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, has decided to support Sweden’s application to join NATO after initially opposing it for a year due to security concerns in his country.
Erdogan agreed to send Sweden’s membership application to the Turkish parliament, according to a Monday statement from NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Ulf Kristersson of Sweden and Erdogan met in Vilnius, Lithuania, where Stoltenberg reported that Turkey had decided to proceed.
I’m happy to announce… The Grand National Assembly will get the accession protocol for Sweden as soon as feasible, and President Erdogan has committed to work closely with the assembly to guarantee ratification, according to Stoltenberg at a press conference.
“This day is historic.”
The consent of each member of the military alliance is necessary for membership. Since last year, Turkey has prevented Sweden from joining NATO, claiming that Stockholm is sheltering Kurdish activists who Ankara views as “terrorists.”
Turkish officials were particularly incensed by a series of protests in Stockholm, including acts by anti-Islam radicals in which the Quran was set ablaze.
Following the three-way discussions, a joint statement indicated that Sweden and Turkey would strengthen their trade ties and collaborate closely on “counterterrorism.”
At the EU’s entrance,
Erdogan raised the stakes earlier on Monday when he demanded that Sweden’s accession to NATO be contingent on the European Union reviving Turkey’s dormant membership request.
The sudden declaration by Erdogan just before he left for a NATO conference in the capital of Lithuania raised further doubts about Sweden’s attempt to join the alliance as its 32nd country.
Erdogan made the first comparison between Sweden’s aspirations to join NATO and his nation’s desire to join the EU.
Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul, “Turkey has been knocking on the door of the European Union for more than 50 years, and practically all of the NATO members are now members of the European Union.
“I’m calling on these nations who have kept Turkey standing in queue at the EU’s doors for more than 50 years. Come help pave the way for Turkey’s admission to the EU. We’ll open doors for Sweden as we did for Finland once you open them for Turkey.
Erdogan’s “commitment” to Sweden’s NATO application was praised by US President Joe Biden.
“I am willing to collaborate with President Erdogan and Turkey to strengthen defence and deterrence in the Euro-Atlantic region. As our 32nd NATO ally, I am eager to welcome Prime Minister Kristersson and Sweden. And I appreciate Secretary General Stoltenberg’s unwavering leadership,” the White House stated in a statement.
Elina Valtonen, the foreign minister of Finland, told Al Jazeera that her nation, which joined the organisation in April, had pushed for the approval of its neighbor’s application as well.
Without Sweden, our membership is incomplete, according to Valtonen.
Due to growing concerns about Russian aggression in northern Europe following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland and its neighbouring country, Sweden, submitted applications in May 2022.