Sweden will now be able to join the Western defense alliance after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday presented a bill confirming its NATO membership application to parliament for confirmation, according to the presidency.
Erdogan, who earlier voiced concerns about Sweden’s suspected harboring of terrorists, satisfied his NATO partners by vowing to present the measure to parliament when it reconvenes on October 1.
However, Turkish authorities have consistently stated that before Ankara could approve Stockholm’s membership application, more decisive action needs to be taken by Stockholm to repress the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militia. The United States, the European Union, and Turkey all consider the PKK to be a terrorist organization.
The bill to approve Sweden finally made progress on Monday.
The presidency stated on the social media platform X without going into any detail, “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed the Protocol on Sweden’s Accession to NATO on October 23, 2023 and referred to the GNA of Turkey.”
Ulf Kristersson, the prime minister of Sweden, praised the decision and expressed Stockholm’s eagerness to join NATO. On X, Kristersson stated that the parliament still needed to address the issue.
However, there is no predetermined timetable for ratification. Prior to being forwarded to the general assembly for ratification, the bill will be placed on the agenda of the international affairs commission of parliament.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, Sweden and Finland submitted applications to join NATO. In a momentous move for the alliance, Finland’s membership was finalized in April; however, Sweden’s application had been stalled by Turkey and Hungary.
Turkey, which has the second-largest army in NATO, has long sought legislative clearance from the United States for the sale of F-16 planes and modernization kits for $20 billion. Erdogan has already connected Sweden’s request to join NATO to American support for it.