Sweden stresses need for more talks with Türkiye on NATO membership

Swedish Foreign Minister Billstrom says he will visit Ankara in autumn to continue discussions on his country’s NATO membership bid.

Sweden stresses need for more talks with Türkiye on NATO membership

Sweden on Thursday highlighted the need for more talks with Türkiye on its NATO membership bid.

"Personally, I think that the prime minister of Sweden's visits to Ankara showed that there is still plenty of room for dialogue, a dialogue which is now underway and ongoing," said Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom during a joint news conference with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock in Berlin.

"And that has to be done on all levels, the highest level with the Prime Minister meeting with (Turkish) President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan, and the second level that would be me, I will shortly go to Ankara this autumn to continue discussions with my counterparts there," he added.

Billstrom also pointed to ongoing talks among Sweden, Finland and Türkiye on the Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding, to address Ankara’s expectations from the two countries.

“When all conditions laid down in the memorandum have been fulfilled, the Turkish parliament will be ready to ratify," he said.

Billstrom made clear that Sweden is "working diligently toward a quick and seamless entry into NATO, where legal, political, organizational and other conditions are necessary for our membership."

"I think the discussions are continuing in a very positive way. Sweden is preparing its own ratification, which concludes the Accession Protocol, and confirms Sweden as a NATO ally, and when all 30 NATO allies ratify, Sweden will be ready," he said.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO in June, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine.

However, Türkiye voiced objections to the membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.

A trilateral memorandum at the NATO summit signed among the countries in June stipulates that Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the YPG/PYD, the PKK's Syrian offshoot, or to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) – the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye.

Hüseyin Demir

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