Sunday, December 3, 2023

Turkey agrees to back Sweden’s NATO bid

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to back Sweden’s bid to join NATO after a year of blocking the move, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Monday.

Stoltenberg said Erdogan agreed to forward Sweden’s membership bid to Turkey’s parliament as soon as possible and work closely with the assembly to ensure ratification.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 31 member states – 29 European and two North American.

NATO membership requires the approval of all of the military alliance’s members. Erdogan had upped the stakes further by demanding that the European Union revive Turkey’s stalled membership bid as a condition for Sweden to join NATO.

Turkey has held up Sweden’s NATO accession since last year, accusing Stockholm of harbouring Kurdish activists Ankara regards as “terrorists”.

“I stand ready to work with President Erdogan and Türkiye on enhancing defence and deterrence in the Euro-Atlantic area. I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Kristersson and Sweden as our 32nd NATO Ally.  And I thank Secretary General Stoltenberg for his steadfast leadership,” a White House statement said.

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