Stoltenberg says he’s confident Turkey will ratify Finland and Sweden’s NATO accession

"I cannot tell you when, but I'm confident for several reasons."

By Reuters - January 20, 2023

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that he was confident NATO member Turkey would approve Sweden and Finland‘s bid to join the alliance.

Speaking at a panel discussion focusing on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Stoltenberg said he couldn’t give a date but was sure the accession of the two countries would go ahead.

“I cannot tell you when, but I’m confident for several reasons. First of all, Turkey was one of the NATO allies that at the NATO summit in Madrid in July last year actually decided to invite Finland, Sweden to become a members of the alliance and all NATO allies, also, Turkey, a few days after signed the accession protocols and so far, 28 out of NATO’s 30 allies have already ratified,” he said.

Stoltenberg said Finland‘s and Sweden’s accession process was the fastest in NATO’s modern history.

Sweden and Finland applied to join the Western defense alliance in May 2022, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But they have faced opposition from Turkey, which has accused them of supporting and harboring Kurdish militants and other groups it deems terrorists.

Stoltenberg has said Turkey is a key ally for the alliance due to its strategic location on the Black Sea between Europe and the Middle East and added that the security concerns raised were legitimate.

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