Erdogan to host Stoltenberg, Kristersson early November

Erdogan to host Stoltenberg, Kristersson early November
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Sweden and Finland’s NATO memberships will be discussed during the meetings

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and new Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in early November to discuss Sweden’s and Finland’s NATO membership bids.

Erdogan will receive NATO Chief on Nov.4 and Swedish Premier on Nov.8, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported, citing sources from the president’s office. 

Sweden and Finland that have a long history of neutrality in military conflicts, officially applied for NATO membership in May, following Russia’s launching an invasion of Ukraine on Feb.24. While the vast majority of NATO members welcomed Sweden’s and Finland’s applications, Turkey, the second largest army in the alliance, opposed the two countries’ bids, citing their failure to combat threats to Turkey’s security.

After the two Scandinavian countries promised to address Ankara’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects, Turkey dropped its objections against Sweden and Finland’s membership applications, allowing the military organization to formally invite the two countries for membership at a Madrid summit in June. But the final approval of their joining the alliance depends on the current member states’ parliaments. The NATO accession protocols for Sweden and Finland need to be ratified by the parliaments of all 30 members, where Ankara says it will not approve the documents if Stockholm and Helsinki fail to fulfil their commitments, regarding Turkey’s extradition requests.

Following a phone call with Erdogan, Sweden’s new prime minister on Wednesday said his country will fulfil the tripartite memorandum signed in June. Erdogan also said via his office that Turkey "stands ready to advance the bilateral relations with the Swedish government in all areas.”

Stoltenberg on Wednesday said he is confident that all member countries will ratify Sweden and Finland’s accession protocols.

“We are in close contact with Finland and Sweden and also of course in close contact at all levels with our close Ally, Türkiye,” Stoltenberg said.

Twenty-eight of 30 NATO member states by now have given the necessary official approval for Sweden and Finland’s joining the transatlantic alliance.

Turkey and Hungary remain on the list that have not yet ratified the accession protocols.