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HomeEuropeSwedish PM to visit Türkiye to persuade the Nordic country’s NATO bid

Swedish PM to visit Türkiye to persuade the Nordic country’s NATO bid

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New Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson will pay a visit to Türkiye on Nov. 7-8 and meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the Nordic country seeks approval of Ankara for its NATO bid.

“All aspects of the Türkiye-Sweden relations will be discussed at the official talks to be held in Ankara on Nov. 8,” said a statement by the Turkish presidency on Nov. 6.

“Besides the bilateral relations with Sweden, Türkiye’s strategic partner, views will be exchanged on Sweden’s membership application to NATO on the basis of the Trilateral Memorandum signed on the margins of the NATO Madrid Summit, the Türkiye-European Union relations, and regional and global matters,” it added.

Türkiye will not formally approve Finland and Sweden’s membership to NATO until the two countries take the necessary “steps,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg on Nov. 4.

Ankara says the two Nordic nations provide a safe haven for PKK and FETÖ and held back on ratifying their NATO membership despite an agreement in June.

“President Erdoğan noted that the steps to be taken by Sweden and Finland would determine how fast the approval process… would go and when it would be concluded,” the Turkish presidency said after his meeting with the NATO chief.

Finland and Sweden dropped decades of military non-alignment and scrambled to become NATO members in May after Russia invaded Ukraine.

But Erdoğan threatened to block their bids and sought concessions, leading to a deal in June between Türkiye, Finland and Sweden that included provisions on extraditions and sharing information.

All 30 NATO member states except Türkiye and Hungary have ratified the accession of Sweden and Finland.
New members of the alliance require unanimous approval.

Ahead of Kristersson’s visit, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström reiterated on Nov. 6 that the Scandinavian country has no agenda to be in contact with the PKK terrorist group’s Syrian branch YPG.

“We do not have an agenda in the form of contact with the PKK and YPG. This is also noted by the Turkish government. It is out of the question for the government that currently governs Sweden to enter into any agreement with those sympathetic to the PKK/YPG,” he told the Swedish media.

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