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Stoltenberg: Hungary and Turkey should say yes as soon as possible

Already in September, the parliaments had i 28 NATO countries In record time, they agreed to join Finland and Sweden to NATO membership. But since then it has been quiet. There are still two countries – Hungary and Turkey, where the governments have complete control over the process in their parliaments.

Jens Stoltenberg seems increasingly impatient with why approvals are so late.

Finland and Sweden strengthen NATO and enhance security. The countries are sticking to the tripartite agreement struck in June, Stoltenberg says at a news conference in Brussels.

It refers to the convention between Finland, Sweden and Turkey, which concerns, among other things, anti-terrorism cooperation.

All the Allies made a historic decision in June when they signed the Implementation Protocol for Finland and Sweden. I invite the two remaining allies to ratify the applications as soon as possible.

Jens Stoltenberg welcomes Hungary’s announcement on Thursday that Parliament will give the green light at the beginning of next year. However, this is later than what was previously announced by the government. Asked directly by DN in September, Justice Minister Judit Varga said Hungary would approve the request soon.

– We will agree to Sweden’s membership in NATO, it’s only a matter of time. Believe me, Hungary fully supports Swedish membership, she said then.

As for Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson met in Ankara beginning of November. Erdoğan does not share Stoltenberg’s view that Sweden is fulfilling its commitment in the tripartite settlement. Erdogan also pointed to the presidential elections in June 2023, which means that Turkey will not agree to the request anytime soon.

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Ulf Kristerson and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on November 8 this year.

Photo: Lotta Hardelin

Since this summer, Finland and Sweden have taken part in almost all NATO cooperation, but the two countries do not have voting rights and are not covered by the mutual defense guarantee.

Jens Stoltenberg asserts that NATO has strengthened its presence in the Baltic Sea and that many allies, such as the United States and Great Britain, have given security guarantees.

– It is quite clear that if Finland or Sweden were attacked or assaulted, it would be inconceivable that NATO would not respond to them, says Stoltenberg.

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