NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced that Turkey will finally allow the unanimous vote to accept Sweden into the alliance.
Turkish state media, Andalou Agency, has hinted at an agreement related to the European Union with a quote from a senior government official, saying, “The Government of Turkiye has received full support for the path of European Union membership, the lifting of sanctions against the Turkish economy, and the liberalization of visas for Turkish citizens.”
However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has stated that the question of Sweden’s NATO membership and Turkey’s EU hopes are “not related”, which was echoed by the European Commission.
The announcement comes just before a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where US President Joe Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet on the sidelines, Tuesday.
“I welcome Erdogan’s commitment to transfer the protocol of Sweden’s ascension to NATO to parliament for speedy ratification,” Biden said. The United States has put heavy pressure on Turkey to come to reasonable terms after Turkey continued to increase the requirements for their acceptance, including the potential cancellation of Turkey’s needed purchase of F-16 multirole jets to boost it’s aging fleet.
Glad to announce that after the meeting I hosted with @RTErdogan & @SwedishPM, President Erdogan has agreed to forward #Sweden's accession protocol to the Grand National Assembly ASAP & ensure ratification. This is an historic step which makes all #NATO Allies stronger & safer. pic.twitter.com/D7OeR5Vgba
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) July 10, 2023
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson stated, “Our commitment to what we agreed upon with Turkey is a long-term one, and not only for joining NATO,” before adding, “We have not made any new commitments other than those agreed in Madrid last year.”
Now, only Hungary stands in the way of Sweden’s ascension to NATO. Kristersson remains optimistic, however, stating, “We are confident that Hungary will not delay our accession to NATO.”