Stoltenberg Urges Swift Approval for Sweden’s NATO Membership


Currently, Turkey and Hungary are the only NATO members yet to ratify Sweden’s membership, despite it applying over 18 months ago…report Asian Lite News

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged swift approval of Sweden’s membership by Turkey.

Stoltenberg emphasised that Sweden has fulfilled its commitments, urging Turkey to complete the accession process promptly.

Currently, Turkey and Hungary are the only NATO members yet to ratify Sweden’s membership, despite it applying over 18 months ago.

While the Turkish parliament is debating Sweden’s bid initiated by President Erdogan, Stoltenberg expressed a desire for a quicker ratification process.

The formal welcome of Sweden into NATO, initially expected at a foreign ministers’ meeting, is delayed due to the ongoing parliamentary procedures in Turkey.

Meanwhile, tensions have risen as Sweden’s Prime Minister Kristersson criticized a far-right leader, Akesson, for calling to demolish some mosques, labelling it as “disrespectful” and “polarising.”

Recently, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and his Swedish counterpart, Ulf Kristersson, held discussions here which focused on bilateral relations, security issues and other topical international and EU affairs.

Orpo stressed the importance of closer contact between Finland and Sweden, especially on security issues, reports Xinhua news agency.

During a joint press conference on Monday, Orpo mentioned Finland’s consideration of new measures to address unauthorised immigration, emphasizing the importance of proportionate and effective actions.

For his part, Kristersson said the EU external border is “no longer a matter for Italy, Greece and Spain” only, but also a concern for the Nordics.

He expressed strong support for Finland’s efforts in protecting the EU border, saying: “We have a common interest.”

Both leaders stressed the importance of the 2024 European Parliament election.

“Finland and Sweden are cooperating to have a strong impact on the future European Union agenda,” Orpo said.

They also discussed their roles as NATO members, with Kristersson emphasizing that the transition “from following NATO to shaping NATO” represents a new identity.

“You have to be there when the decisions at NATO are de facto being taken,” he said.

On the same day, the Prime Ministers also held a joint meeting with the Foreign and Defence Ministers of the two Nordic nations.

The Swedish delegation also met Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

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