Biden expresses optimism on Turkey's approval of Sweden's NATO bid

Biden expresses optimism on Turkey's approval of Sweden's NATO bid
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Pressures mount on Ankara to ratify Sweden's accession to NATO, but Turkish authorities still say Stockholm is yet to fulfill promises.

While US President Joe Biden predicted on Thursday that Sweden will join NATO "soon", hinting at a possible deal to overcome Turkey's opposition to admitting the Nordic country to the alliance, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on Stockholm to fulfill its commitments in order to start ratification of Sweden’s accession to NATO.

Speaking at the US Air Force Academy Biden said NATO is stronger in spite of Russian President Vladimir Putin's attempt to crack the alliance with his invasion of Ukraine. It is bolstered further, he said, by the recent admission of Finland, "and soon, Sweden."

"It will happen, I promise you," he said, but provided no details.

In indication that Ankara continues to expect more from Stockholm in cracking down on Kurdish political activists who Turkish authorities call "terrorists," Minister Cavusoglu said on Twitter:

"A crystal clear message to our Swedish Friends! Fulfill your commitments arising from Trilateral Memorandum & take concrete steps in the fight against terrorism. The rest will follow."

Sweden applied, along with Finland, for NATO membership last year. Bids for membership must be approved by all NATO members, but Turkey and Hungary have yet to approve Sweden's bid

Turkey ratified Finland's NATO accession in late March, but persistently stalls ratification of Sweden's.