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Turkey formally ratifies Sweden's NATO accession

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 25, 2024 10:03 PM 1 min read
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 12, 2023. (Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed into force the parliament's ratification of Sweden's NATO membership, Reuters reported on Jan. 25, citing the Turkish presidency's official gazette.

Erdogan's formal approval has brought Sweden closer to its goal of becoming the 32nd member of NATO. Hungary remains the only country yet to ratify Sweden's accession to the alliance.

Turkey's parliament voted to approve Sweden's membership on Jan. 23 after months of delay since Stockholm initially applied in May 2022. Turkey cited Sweden's alleged support for Kurdish groups that Turkey considers to be terrorists, which Sweden denies.

Erdogan has requested several concessions from other NATO members in exchange for a commitment that Turkey will support Sweden's bid.

Among the demands are the U.S. approving the sale of F-16 fighter jets and other equipment to help modernize Turkey's Air Force, as well as further measures from Sweden to crack down on supporters of the Kurdish groups deemed terrorists by Turkey.

U.S. President Joe Biden sent a letter to Congress committees on Jan. 24, saying he intends to launch the process for the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey once Ankara finalizes Sweden's NATO admission process, Reuters wrote earlier.

After Turkey, Hungary remains the last obstacle to Sweden's admission. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Jan. 24 that Budapest supports Stockholm's entry.

Finland also applied to join NATO in May 2022, shortly after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and was admitted as a member in April 2023.

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