Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

La Sweden in NATO: Turkey sets its conditions

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The Turkish president was in Budapest on Monday.< /p>Associated Press

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The ratification of the Sweden's NATO membership by the Turkish parliament depends on the US Congress approving Ankara's request to buy F-16 fighter jets, the minister said. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who calls on both legislatures to act “simultaneously.”

In comments reported Tuesday, Erdogan also said that Canada and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies ( NATO) were to lift the arms embargoes imposed on Turkey.

Positive developments in the United States regarding the F-16 issue and Canada's fulfillment of its promises will promote our Parliament's positive view on Swedish membership, said Mr. Erdogan.

Everything is connected.

A quote from Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President from Turkey

The president made the comments Monday evening after returning from a visit to Hungary. The two countries are the only NATO members that have not formally approved Sweden's candidacy for the transatlantic military alliance.

Mr. Erdogan's remarks were reported by the public Anadolu agency.

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He told reporters that Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan had raised the issue of simultaneous approval by the Turkish Parliament and the U.S. Congress during discussions this week with Secretary of State Antony Blinken .

Mr. Erdogan submitted a protocol on Sweden's admission to the Turkish Parliament in October, but the ratification process has stalled.

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In July 2023, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) agreed to Sweden's membership in NATO and met Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (right) in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The Turkish leader has since linked the issue to the US Congress' approval of Turkey's request to buy 40 F-16 fighter jets and kits to modernize its existing fleet of fighters.

Turkey has been delaying the ratification of Sweden's accession for more than a year. Ankara accuses the Scandinavian country of not taking Turkey's security concerns seriously enough, including its fight against Kurdish militants and other groups that Ankara views as threats to its security. p>

These delays frustrated other NATO allies, who were quick to accept Sweden and Finland in within the Atlantic Alliance after these two neighboring countries abandoned their long-standing military neutrality following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Hungary said it would not be the last to approve Sweden's membership, although the ruling Fidesz party, which holds the constitutional majority in Parliament, has so far refused to vote on this issue.

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