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Blinken urges Erdogan to endorse Sweden's entry into NATO

Blinken urges Erdogan to endorse Sweden's entry into NATO United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (photo: Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the importance of Sweden's NATO membership application during talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reports France24.

U.S. Secretary of State is on a week-long working visit to the Middle East, during which he visited Türkiye. Blinken held talks with Erdogan and the country's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan.

The State Department stated that the head of the State Department and the Turkish leader discussed issues related to the completion of Sweden's accession to NATO, strengthening trade and investments between the United States and Türkiye, and the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

What proceeded this

Sweden submitted its application to join NATO last year. For the country to become a part of the Alliance, its application must be ratified by all member countries. As of today, all NATO allies have approved the membership of the Scandinavian state, except for Türkiye and Hungary.

In response to Türkiye's requirements, Sweden has strengthened its counter-terrorism laws. At the end of November, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Türkiye would approve the application in the coming weeks.

On December 26, the foreign affairs committee of the Turkish parliament finally approved Sweden's application to join NATO. The final decision now rests with the General Assembly of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye (parliament).

Additionally, U.S. President Joe Biden discussed Sweden's NATO accession with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On January 1, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed confidence that Sweden would become a part of the Alliance by July 2024.