February 23rd, 2024

Turkey formally ratifies Sweden’s NATO membership, leaving Hungary as only ally yet to endorse it

By The Associated Press on January 25, 2024.

FILE - Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, shakes hands with Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, right, as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg looks on prior to a meeting ahead of a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, July 10, 2023. The road for Sweden’s NATO membership has been bumpy, chiefly because of Turkey stalling ratifying Sweden’s application. (Yves Herman, Pool Photo via AP, File)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey published a measure approving Sweden’s membership in NATO in an official gazette on Thursday, finalizing the ratification that brings the previously nonaligned country a step closer to joining the military alliance.

Hungary now remains the only NATO ally not to have ratified Sweden’s accession.

Turkey’s parliament endorsed Sweden’s accession in a vote Tuesday. The ruling party said the Nordic country’s tougher stance on Kurdish militants was key to winning approval.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also previously has linked the ratification to Turkey’s desire to buy fighter jets from the United States.

NATO-member Turkey had delayed Sweden’s membership for more than a year, accusing the country of being too lenient toward groups that Ankara regards as security threats. It sought concessions from Stockholm, including moves to counter militants.

Turkey also had been angered by a series of demonstrations by supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in Sweden as well as Quran-burning protests that roiled Muslim countries.

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