NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and allied countries have welcomed Türkiye’s decision to move forward with Sweden’s accession to join the alliance after more than one year of negotiations.
“I welcome President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s signature of the accession protocol for Sweden and its referral to the Grand National Assembly. I look forward to a speedy vote to ratify, and to welcoming Sweden as a full NATO ally very soon,” Stoltenberg said in a statement on late October 23.
Erdoğan submitted the accession protocol of Sweden to join the alliance to the Turkish Parliament in late October. The Parliament will discuss the move first at the Foreign Affairs Committee and later at the General Assembly before putting it to a vote. A simple majority of the 600 lawmakers suffices for the ratification.
Sweden also welcomed the move.
“Glad to hear that Turkish President Erdoğan has now handed over the ratification documents to the Turkish Parliament,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Now it remains for Parliament to deal with the issue. We look forward to becoming a member of NATO.”
Sweden and Finland applied to join the alliance after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Türkiye, Sweden and Finland signed a trilateral agreement to make sure that the two Nordic states will cooperate with Türkiye in the fight against terrorism.
Finland joined the alliance in early April 2023, but Türkiye delayed Sweden’s bid due to consecutive anti-Türkiye and anti-Islam demonstrations in Stockholm.
Türkiye and Sweden did later agree on the Nordic state’s accession to NATO during the NATO Summit in Vilnius in July.
The U.S. also welcomed the move. “We welcome that step,” spokesman Matthew Miller told a press briefing on late Oct. 23.
Noting that the US has been calling for the ratification of Sweden’s accession for some time, Miller said, “We look forward to that bill being considered in the Turkish parliament and passed as soon as possible.”__Daily Hurriyet