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Stoltenberg: The time has come for Turkey to approve Sweden's membership in NATO

Stoltenberg: The time has come for Turkey to approve Sweden's membership in

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday that he has told Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that the time has come for her to allow Sweden to become a member of the military alliance.

Turkey and Hungary are the only NATO countries that have not yet formally approved Sweden's membership in the alliance.

Stoltenberg told The Associated Press that he called on Turkey to finalize the process during a meeting with President Erdogan on Friday on the sidelines of the climate summit in Dubai.

"I met President Erdogan this morning and repeated his message that the time has come to finalize the admission process for Sweden," said Stoltenberg.

Turkey has delayed ratification for more than a year, accusing Sweden of not taking Turkey's concerns seriously, including its fight against Kurdish militants and other groups that Ankara views as threats to its security.

Things changed during a NATO summit in July, where Erdogan announced he would submit Sweden's accession documents to the Turkish Parliament, but a debate on the matter in the Foreign Affairs Committee ended without a decision last month. .

Stoltenberg was unable to say when the ratification process might be completed.

"I am not able to give an exact date, but I welcome the fact that a few weeks ago President Erdogan submitted the documents for ratification to the Turkish Parliament", said the head of NATO.

Sweden and Finland abandoned their policy of military neutrality and applied to join NATO after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Finland joined NATO in April.

The admission of a new member must be approved by all existing members of the alliance./ REL

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