NATO chief heads to Turkey to speed up Sweden’s path to membership | Currently

NATO President Jens Stoltenberg will soon travel to Turkey to speed up Sweden’s accession to the alliance. Turkey has not yet finally agreed to NATO membership for Sweden and Finland.

On Wednesday, Stoltenberg said Sweden was highly committed to allaying Turkey’s concerns. The new Swedish Prime Minister will also visit Ankara on one of these days.

The Secretary General of the Western Military Alliance emphasized that the efforts to welcome Sweden and Finland “as soon as possible” are of course supported.

Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, after decades of expressly staying outside of the military blocs. But Turkey objected and only gave up when Sweden promised, among other things, to lift the arms embargo on Turkey. Sweden also pledged to cooperate more closely in the search for and extradition of Kurdish militants.

NATO diplomats say the arrival of a new right-wing government in Sweden could make it easier to deal with Turkey. It is less fond of the Kurds than the left-wing parties.

Alliance sources say NATO is less concerned about the lack of Hungarian orders for Sweden and Finland. Stoltenberg says Hungary has “made it clear” that parliament will begin work on approval next month. The other 28 NATO members have already completed it.

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