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Reuters: Turkey says that Sweden will not join NATO before Nov. 28 meeting

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 23, 2023 11:38 AM 2 min read
Turkey's parliament building in Ankara, Turkey, on May 12, 2023. (Kerem Uzel/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Turkey will not conclude its internal debates on Sweden's accession to NATO in time for the meeting of the alliance's foreign ministers on Nov. 28-29, which was hoped to be an opportunity to announce that Sweden was joining NATO, sources told Reuters on Nov. 23.

The Turkish parliament previously delayed a vote on Sweden's accession to the alliance on Nov. 16.

Turkish lawmaker Fuat Oktay said on Nov. 1 that Turkey would not speed up the process of approving Sweden's accession because it did not consider the matter as urgent as other NATO countries.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a long-awaited protocol on Sweden's NATO accession on Oct. 23, which was then sent to parliament for final ratification.

If ratified, it will then return to Erdogan to formally sign it into law.

Both Sweden and Finland applied to join the alliance in May 2022 following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Turkey initially blocked both of their bids but gave the green light to Finland's accession in March.

Among the main reasons why Ankara denied Stockholm's entry was the alleged Swedish support for Kurdish groups that Turkey considers terrorists. Sweden denied such support.

Even after Sweden secures final approval from Turkey, there are signs that Hungary, another NATO member and previous holdout on Finland's accession, may also cause delays.

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