Certain that Sweden will join NATO as ‘soon as possible’: Biden

NewsCertain that Sweden will join NATO as ‘soon as possible’: Biden

Sweden will join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) “as soon as possible,” in spite of Turkey and Hungary continuing to obstruct the Scandinavian nation’s entry into the alliance, according to US President Biden. On Thursday, Biden lauded NATO’s unity in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“NATO is more energised and more united than it’s been in decades. It’s now even stronger with the accession of our newest ally, Finland- and soon Sweden- to the alliance, as soon as possible. It will happen. I promise you.” Biden’s remarks came a few days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken appealed to Turkey to approve Sweden’s bid to become a NATO member. “From the perspective of the United States, the time is now to finalise Sweden’s accession,” Blinken said in the northern Swedish city of Lulea on Tuesday.
The US is hoping to induct Sweden into the alliance before the NATO summit to be held in Lithuania this July. After Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and its neighbour Finland began applying for NATO membership. Sweden’s application is still pending, while Finland’s official affiliation with the alliance began in April. The country’s= accession is still yet to go through owing to the absence of approval from Hungary and Turkey, but Ankara is thought to be the primary impediment. Turkey has charged Sweden of giving the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which it regards as a “terrorist” organisation, a safe haven. According to Sweden, it is addressing Turkey’s concerns in accordance with a trilateral agreement that the two nations and Finland inked last year.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted to his Swedish counterpart on Thursday as the foreign ministers of NATO member states met in Norway, saying, “Fulfil your commitments arising from Trilateral Memorandum & take concrete steps in the fight against terrorism. The rest will follow”. According to the White House, President Biden recently brought up the subject with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following his recent re-election. Referring to a push by Ankara to finalise a $20 billion deal for US-manufactured F-16 fighter jets, Biden said on Monday, “I congratulated Erdogan.
He still wants to work on something on the F-16s. I told him we wanted a deal with Sweden, so let’s get that done.” Biden did not mention Turkey when he voiced Sweden’s NATO bid. However, he laid emphasis on the alliance continuing to stand united in response to the invasion of Ukraine, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin thought NATO
would “crack”.

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