NATO chief urges Turkey not to veto Sweden’s bid

In an effort to hasten Stockholm’s “as soon as possible” enlargement into the US-led defense alliance, NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg urged Ankara on Sunday to end its objections to Stockholm’s application.

Ahead of a conference scheduled for July in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, Erdogan is under increasing pressure to approve Sweden’s NATO membership.

“Membership will make Sweden safer but also make NATO and Turkey stronger,” Stoltenberg told journalists after meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and newly appointed foreign minister Hakan Fidan, who was head of the intelligence agency, in Istanbul.

“I look forward to finalising Sweden’s accession as soon as possible,” he said.

The inauguration of Erdogan, who was re-elected to office for another five years, took place on Saturday in the Turkish capital Ankara, where hundreds of international leaders were present.

Turkey, a NATO member, has taken its time in allowing Sweden to join the military alliance. It and Hungary are the only two NATO nations that haven’t ratified the application for membership.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland ended decades of military non-alignment and applied to join the alliance.

In April, Finland formally acceded to NATO.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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