(NationalUSNews.com) — According to Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Tobias Billstrom, Turkey will soon ratify Sweden’s entrance to NATO. Billstrom claims he spoke with Hakan Fidan, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, and that Fidan confirmed Turkey’s ratification of Sweden’s admittance to NATO. According to Billstrom, Fidan said the ratification would occur in the next few weeks.
Turkey’s ratification of Sweden’s admittance to NATO is surprising to many due to Turkey’s outspoken opposition to allowing Sweden into the international organization in the past. Turkey initially refused to admit Sweden due to public Quran burnings within Swedish cities like Stockholm and a growing anti-Muslim and anti-immigration sentiment within the Nordic country. Despite Turkey’s initial protestations, Fidan’s claims indicate ratification is imminent.
Given the countries’ proximity, Sweden is anxious to enter NATO due to concerns about Russia. Many Swedish officials worry about Russia expanding its military campaign into Sweden due to the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. According to Billstrom, admitting Sweden into NATO is mutually beneficial and would provide extra security for other European countries. Despite Turkey’s ratification of Sweden’s admittance to NATO, another country is still holding out on Sweden.
Hungary is the other nation that refuses to ratify Sweden’s admittance into NATO for the same reasons cited by Turkey. Billstrom criticized Hungary’s refusal to ratify Sweden’s admittance, claiming that Hungary and Turkey need to allow Sweden into the international organization immediately due to the growing threats from nations like Russia. Although Turkey plans to ratify Sweden’s entry, according to Fidan, Hungary isn’t changing its stance.
According to Billstrom, Fidan didn’t make any demands or add conditions for Turkey’s approval of Sweden’s entrance to NATO. Billstrom isn’t the only official advocating for Sweden to join NATO, as NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg avidly supports Sweden’s entrance to the organization. According to Stoltenberg, Sweden should join NATO soon due to the potential benefits for every country in the international organization.
Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson is also pushing for the country’s entrance to NATO and visited the White House to request President Biden’s support for ratification of Sweden’s NATO bid.
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