Will Turkey ratify Sweden's bid to join NATO? Turkish General

Interviews 17:11 02.06.2023
Despite Turkey and Hungary’s opposition, US President Joe Biden said that Sweden will “soon” join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). 
 
In his commencement speech, Biden said NATO is stronger in spite of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to crack the alliance with his invasion of Ukraine. It is bolstered further, he said, by the recent admission of Finland, “and soon, Sweden.”
 
“It will happen, I promise you,” he said, but provided no details.
 
However, will Turkey support Sweden's NATO membership? Is it in Turkey's interest for Azerbaijan to join NATO?
 
Turkish general Yücel Karauz told Ednews that Turkey's attitude and behavior regarding Sweden's membership in NATO was clear from the beginning:
 
"Actually, this attitude was the same for Finland. As you know, the protocol was signed with the participation of Finland, Sweden and Turkey under the supervision of the NATO Secretary General. Sweden has not complied with the protocol in question for a long time. As Sweden did not comply with the demands, it continued to engage in provocative actions. Currently, the draft law in the framework of the fight against terrorism in Sweden came into force after June 1. On June 3, NATO Secretary General will come to Ankara to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After that, there will be statements in Ankara about Sweden joining NATO and not prolonging the situation. In the same way, the president of the US and the heads of the US State Department have subjective opinions that would indicate that Sweden is waiting for NATO membership. In addition to the legal arrangements made in the context of the struggle, they demanded the extradition of those living in Sweden as members of a terrorist organization. Sweden has not resolved this extradition issue either. Since Sweden did not agree to this, Turkey is still waiting."
 
Yücel Karauz added that, apart from Turkey, Hungary also did not ratify Sweden's proposal to join NATO:
 
"Although this reflects something related to terrorism, this issue should also be evaluated in the context of relations with Russia. Russia perceives Sweden's membership as a threat to its territory. The main goal of the NATO Secretary General and the United States of America is to announce and confirm Sweden's NATO membership at the upcoming NATO summit, and to try to create a strong NATO and emerging unity picture. America tried to do all this against Russia. This means gaining an advantage in the global struggle. Thus, Turkey will say "yes" to Sweden's accession to NATO, because there is no other situation that can be put forward. It is impossible to continue this situation forever."
 
Touching on the issue of Azerbaijan's NATO membership, the Turkish general said that Azerbaijan's NATO membership is a very different matter:
 
"Although it is stated that this comprehensive movement carried out by Russia from the north with Sweden and Finland will not include Georgia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus, of course it will not allow Ukraine to join the Alliance, it will resist it. Russia will try to stop they. Therefore, the issue of Azerbaijan's NATO membership has to go a long way, and there is no need for it at the current stage. Azerbaijan implements its independent balanced policy very well. Although not a full member of NATO, it still participates in NATO's peace partnership activities and NATO operations. Cooperation activities continue."
 
"Mr. Erdogan will say yes to Sweden's membership in NATO if it can happen after meetings with US President Biden, NATO Secretary General and after providing sufficient security assurances to Turkey."
 
Ulviyya Shahin
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