Nato chief expects swift accession of Sweden, Finland

Copenhagen, May 19 (EFE).- Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday said he was confident the defense alliance would finalize Sweden and Finland’s admission to Nato within a few weeks, despite Turkey’s opposition.

“I am confident that we will come to a quick decision to welcome both Sweden and Finland to join the Nato family,” Stoltenberg said during a joint press conference with Denmark’s prime minister Mette Frederiksen in Copenhagen.

Earlier on Thursday, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his country’s opposition to the two Nordic countries joining Nato, accusing them both of backing terrorism and harboring Kurdish militants wanted by Ankara on terror charges.

“We are in close contact with Finland and Sweden and Turkey and also with all the Allies. I don’t think it will be helpful if I go into the specifics of all those conversations, but of course, we’re addressing the concerns that Turkey has expressed,” Stoltenberg added.

He also pointed out that when “an important Ally as Turkey raises security concerns, raises issues, then of course, the only way to deal with that is to sit down and find ways to find a common ground and an agreement on how to move forward.”

Frederiksen, meanwhile, believes that the entry of Sweden and Finland would “significantly” improve security in the area since all the Nordic countries would become members of the alliance.

After the negotiation process is completed, the 30-member alliance will have to sign and ratify the accession protocols of the new members.

Sweden and Finland’s applications have been prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, ending their decades-long neutral stances.EFE


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