NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed on Tuesday the resumption of negotiations with Turkey regarding the accession of Sweden and Finland, noting that “progress” has been made in this regard.
During a press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Christerson, Stoltenberg, who is on a visit to Sweden that will continue until Wednesday, said that achieving the two countries’ accession to the alliance is “a top priority, and we are making progress,” according to AFP.
He also confirmed that Sweden, which is obstructing Turkey’s accession request, “fulfilled the commitments” it had made to Ankara in Madrid last June, and that “the time has come to complete the ratification process.”
He also added, “I recently met Turkish President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan, and I am happy that he agreed to resume the tripartite meetings” with Sweden and Finland, stressing that “the issue is not whether Sweden will enter the coalition, but when.”
In turn, Christerson revealed that Parliament will hold a session to vote in advance on joining the coalition.
Turkey and Hungary
Of the 30 countries in the alliance, only Turkey and Hungary did not ratify the accession of Sweden and Finland. The unanimous approval of Member States is necessary for their accession.
It is noteworthy that Turkey had suspended the negotiations at the end of January and postponed, in particular, a tripartite meeting that was scheduled for February, after several demonstrations in Stockholm, in one of which a Danish activist from the far-right burned a copy of the Quran.
However, negotiations will resume Thursday in Brussels, as announced by Turkey at the end of February.