Sweden’s NATO Bid : Great Turkey Opens the Door

Date:

Making a major move towards increasing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Sweden’s membership application got approval from the Turkish parliament on January 23rd, 2024. This vote eliminates a major obstacle that had threatened Sweden’s entry into the alliance, after almost two years of stalling.

The Long Road to Approval

In May 2022, Sweden, together with its neighbor Finland, became a candidate for NATO membership due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, Turkey which was a major partner of the alliance first refused to admit them because Sweden supported groups that were considered terrorists by Ankara because they are Kurdish.

After a series of negotiations and mutual concessions on the part of both sides, Turkey lifted its veto in June 2023. Sweden and Finland signed a trilateral agreement with Turkey, agreeing to address Ankara’s security concerns such as combating terrorism and loosening some arms export restrictions.

The Parliamentary Vote

Finally, the parliament of Turkey held a vote on Sweden’s accession protocol on Tuesday. The result was mostly anticipated, as the AKP won a majority in the parliament. In total, 287 of the 346 members of the parliament who voted were for Sweden to join it and 55 were against it. Four members abstained.

Impact of the Decision

This approval by the parliament of Turkey represents a benchmark in Sweden’s drive to become a part of NATO. It now requires the ratification of all the 32 member states to become a full member of the union. As only Hungary remains to be the last country that has not given its approval of Sweden’s membership, the process is set to end shortly.

This choice speaks of unity and solidarity within NATO, especially against the backdrop of Russia’s continued aggression in Ukraine. Joining Sweden and Finland will solidify the northern wing of NATO and enhance its collective defense capacities.

Reactions and Remaining Challenges

Nato and Swedens

The approval of the Turkish parliament was welcomed by Sweden and its allies. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson thanked Turkey and described it as “a good day for Sweden and also a good day for Europe”.

However, some challenges remain. In Turkey, the critics have expressed many worries regarding the enforcement of the trilateral agreement with Sweden and Finland. Further, the domestic Sweden debate on arms exportation to Turkey continues.

Conclusion

The Turkish parliament’s decision to greenlight the NATO membership bid of Sweden is a very momentous step in that direction. The latter decision reinforces the unity of NATO and its collective defense potential in a period of increased tension with Russia. While some barriers persist, the way has been paved for Sweden and Finland to become full members of the alliance in due time.

Sure, here are some FAQs about the news of Turkey approving Sweden’s NATO membership bid:

Why does Turkey accept Sweden’s NATO membership application?

It is a great step towards the full membership of Sweden in NATO. The approval of Turkey was one of the last and also most important obstacles that had to be overcome before Sweden could finally join.

What motivated Turkey to block Sweden’s NATO membership application from the outset?

Turkey was very worried by the apparent Swedish support for the Kurdish movements that Ankara considers terrorists. Turkey also sought Sweden to ease some of its arms export limitations.

What measures did Sweden take to address Turkey’s concerns?

In June of 2023, Sweden and Finland signed a trilateral agreement with Turkey, committing themselves to addressing Ankara’s security concerns such as countering terrorism and also lifting some arms export restrictions.

How is it today that Turkey has voted for Sweden to become its member?

Sweden is yet to be confirmed by all the 32 member states of NATO for full membership status. This is because Hungary remains the only country that has yet to grant Sweden membership and the process should soon be over.

What will be the consequences of Sweden joining NATO?

Accession of Sweden will greatly strengthen NATO’s northern flank and also enhance its collective defense potential. It also sends a powerful signal of unity and solidarity within the alliance, especially as Russia continues to fight in the Ukraine.

Are there any challenges left?

Some critics in Turkey have criticized the implementation of the trilateral agreement with Sweden and also Finland. Moreover, the domestic discussion regarding arms sales to Turkey within Sweden persists.

What year will Sweden join NATO as a full member?

That cannot be known for sure, but it is expected to occur in the not-too-distant future when all 32 member states have endorsed Sweden’s application.

Sahar sultan
Sahar sultan
Meet Sahar Sultan, a professional blogger with six years of enriching experience. Sahar embarked on a digital journey, transforming her passion for words into captivating narratives. Her blog reflects a diverse spectrum, from lifestyle to tech trends, offering readers a glimpse into her well-traveled and insightful world. With an approachable writing style, Sahar has built a global audience, inviting them to join her on a six-year-long adventure of storytelling and discovery. Follow her on social media for real-time updates on her ever-evolving journey.

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