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The accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO; Stoltenberg went to Turkey to satisfy Erdogan

16 Feb 2023 - 13:45

Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) announced his visit to Turkey. He stated that the purpose of this trip was to obtain Turkey's consent for the accession of Sweden and Finland to this organization.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA): The Secretary General of NATO announced his position on persuading the Turkish government to approve the annexation of Stockholm and Helsinki after the meeting of the defense ministers of this organization held yesterday, Wednesday, February 15, in Brussels.
Jens Stoltenberg stated in a press conference that he will discuss this issue directly with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
He stated: Last fall, I encouraged Turkey to approve the (joining) of Finland and Sweden together.
This Norwegian politician announced his intention to Turkey while this country is facing one of the worst disasters in its modern history due to the earthquake on February 6.
Stoltenberg acknowledged that Ankara has different views on "to what extent Finland and Sweden are in the same position to approve the request" as NATO members.
He assured that it is up to Erdogan's government to "decide to approve the membership of both, this is my recommendation, or to approve only one of the two documents." This issue is not a NATO approval, but Turkey's decision.
Finland and Sweden submitted their applications for NATO membership on May 18 last year, about three months after the start of the Ukraine war. These two countries argue that by entering this military bloc, they intend to defend their interests and security in the face of instability in Eastern Europe.
Ankara initially opposed the two countries' request, but on June 29, 2022, taking Turkey's concerns into account, it signed a security memorandum with Finland and Sweden.
Referring to the fact that Finland and Sweden are home to many terrorist organizations, Erdo─čan stated earlier that his country does not have a positive view of the membership of these two European countries in NATO, and that membership in NATO would undermine Finland's and Sweden's neutrality, which has existed since the Cold War.
Mustafa Santop, the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament, assured on February 2, that Ankara considers it impossible to approve Sweden's joining NATO, because it does not see the determination of the country's officials to fulfill their obligations.
Out of the 30 members of the NATO alliance, only Hungary and Turkey have not approved the accession process of these two Northern European countries.

Story Code: 265588

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