Senior officials from Sweden, Finland and Turkey will meet on Wednesday in Ankara. The meeting is seen as a step on the way to Turkey accepting Sweden’s request for NATO ahead of the NATO summit in Vilnius in July.
Sweden is willing, a very capable ally, to address the concerns raised by our friends in Turkey. We would very much like to welcome them with open arms to the Alliance in the coming weeks, says US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith.
When US President Joe Biden sent a similar message to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president requested that the United States sell modern F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. During a press conference with Julianne Smith, she answered a written question from Dagens Nyheter about how the two questions are related.
– The Biden administration certainly supports Turkey’s efforts to modernize its military, including the F-16 plan. Julianne Smith says our friends in Congress have expressed concerns about the approval of Sweden’s application.
Referring to the US Congress because it has the final say in exporting military equipment.
Members of Congress, separately from the Biden administration, have indicated that they are very interested in seeing Sweden become a member. And then they would like to address the issue of the F-16 plan, says Julianne Smith, adding:
So we in the United States will continue to encourage both Turkey and Hungary to ratify all the documents necessary to ensure that Sweden becomes a full member of the coalition. Then we go from there in terms of the next step. Our focus now is on Sweden crossing the finish line.
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