The Turkish Parliament Will Ratify Sweden's Accession to NATO Next Week
The Turkish Parliament is set to ratify Sweden's accession to NATO next week. This was reported by CNN Türk. According to the television channel, the protocol on Sweden's admission to NATO "will be submitted to the Turkish Parliament by the end of next week and approved."
Recall that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated on July 10 that the Turkish authorities had assured on the eve of the summit in Vilnius that they would consider Sweden's accession to the North Atlantic Alliance as quickly as possible. He added that Stockholm had promised to support the process of modernizing Turkey's customs union with the EU and negotiations on a visa-free regime in exchange for Ankara lifting its veto on Sweden's membership in the bloc.
Sweden applied for membership in the North Atlantic Alliance last year, and its accession was ratified by all NATO member countries except Turkey and Hungary. Ankara blocked the country's accession to the Alliance, claiming that Stockholm allegedly harbors Kurdish groups that Turkey considers terrorist.
As reported by The Gaze, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unexpectedly announced his readiness to support Sweden's NATO membership application after a year-long delay, but now he also wants Turkey's membership in the EU in return. As we know, unanimous agreement from all current NATO members is required to approve new members. However, Turkish President Erdogan remains firm in his position that Sweden has not done enough to counter the activities of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party, which Turkey considers terrorist.
Today, Erdogan added Turkey's EU membership to his previous demands in exchange for ending support for Sweden's NATO accession. Turkey's attempt to join the EU has been suspended for many years, with membership negotiations starting in 2005.
"I urge those countries that have made Turkey wait at the doors of the European Union for more than 50 years," Erdogan said before leaving for the NATO summit in Vilnius. "First, come and pave the way for Turkey's entry into the European Union, and then we will open the way for Sweden, as we did for Finland," he added.
Sweden and Finland jointly applied for NATO membership, but while Finland received the green light in April, Turkey and Hungary have not yet approved Sweden's accession.