Ankara, 24 October 2023 (TDI): Turkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan officially signed the protocol for Sweden’s NATO accession On October 23.
However, this protocol will now be approved in the Grand National Assembly of Turkiye.
Sweden’s NATO membership had been delayed due to Turkiye’s concerns regarding Sweden’s stance on Kurdish militants and a group residing in Sweden that Turkiye perceives as a security threat. Moreover, Turkiye was also angered due to Quran-burning protests within Sweden.
Turkiye and Hungary remain among the few NATO member countries whose legislative bodies have yet given approval for Sweden’s accession and it is important to note that approval of all 31 member states of NATO is necessary to make any decision.
The Turkiye President’s communication directors have confirmed that President Erdogan signed the protocol for Sweden’s NATO accession. However, there is uncertainty regarding when the membership would come to the floor.
The Swedish Prime Minister has expressed happiness with President Erdogan’s decision to submit the ratification document to the parliament. He emphasized that the parliament now holds the responsibility of addressing this significant matter and added that Sweden is excited about joining NATO.
Sweden and Finland had maintained a non-involvement policy in military matters. However, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, both countries asked for protection from NATO. Finland successfully became part of NATO with Turkiye support after addressing Turkiye security concerns.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg extended his request to Turkey for the approval of Sweden’s NATO membership, and he appreciated the recent developments on Monday.
President Erdogan initially opposed Sweden NATO membership but he changed his stance in July during a NATO summit in Lithuania.
Turkey’s agreement on Sweden’s NATO membership was influenced by the United States, as President Joe Biden indicated a willingness to allow Turkey to purchase 40 F-16 jets and upgrade kits. Sweden also offered assurance to support Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union.