Home » Turkey Delays Approval for Sweden’s NATO Membership, Negotiations Continue

Turkey Delays Approval for Sweden’s NATO Membership, Negotiations Continue

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Title: Turkey Remains Undecided on Sweden’s NATO Membership

Brussels, July 6 (Xinhua) – Turkey, Sweden, and NATO engaged in three-party talks in Brussels on July 6, where Turkey expressed its stance of non-agreement with Sweden’s accession to NATO. However, all three parties have agreed to engage in further negotiations before the NATO summit in Vilnius on July 10.

The talks, attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Fidan, Swedish Foreign Minister Bilstrom, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, highlighted the issue of anti-terrorism as a crucial factor for countries seeking to join NATO. Fidan emphasized that while Sweden has taken legislative steps to combat terrorism, practical implementation of these reforms is still required. Furthermore, Turkey expressed concerns over Sweden’s failure to prevent provocative actions that have had an adverse impact on Turkey’s position.

Secretary-General Stoltenberg, in a press conference following the meeting, described the talks as fruitful. He affirmed that substantial progress had been made and emphasized that Sweden’s NATO membership would be in the security interests of all alliance members.

The upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, from the 11th to the 12th, is set to provide an opportunity for further deliberations. Stoltenberg announced his intention to arrange a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Kristersson the day prior to the summit.

Bilstrom expressed optimism after the talks, stating that progress had been achieved, and a “positive” decision regarding Sweden’s NATO membership is expected next week.

The applications from Sweden and Finland to join NATO were submitted in May 2022, amid the escalating Ukrainian crisis. Last July, representatives from the 30 member states of NATO signed the protocol for the accession of Finland and Sweden. However, as per NATO regulations, the approval of all member states is required for accepting new members. While Finland’s membership was officially approved on April 4 this year, Turkey and Hungary are yet to grant official approval for Sweden’s entry into the alliance.

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