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NATO chief: Sweden fulfilled Turkiye’s demands to join alliance

June 5, 2023 at 11:41 am

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg makes a press statement ahead of the EU Defense Ministers’ meeting in Brussels, Belgium on May 23, 2023. [Dursun Aydemir – Anadolu Agency]

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday that Sweden has met all of Turkiye’s demands to join the military alliance, urging Ankara not to veto Stockholm’s bid in a meeting scheduled next month in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.

“Membership will make Sweden safer but also make NATO and Turkey stronger,” Stoltenberg told journalists in Istanbul yesterday after meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his newly appointed Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO, however Turkiye objected to their bid citing “security concerns”.

Finland was accepted as the 31st member of the alliance in April, however Sweden’s bid has yet to be ratified by Turkiye and Hungary.

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