Politics

NATO chief urges swift approval from Hungary, Turkey for Sweden’s membership

Budapest, Nov 28 (EFE).- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is hopeful that Turkey and Hungary will promptly ratify Sweden’s NATO membership “without delay.”

“All NATO allies support Sweden’s accession to NATO, and Sweden has fulfilled all its commitments. I expect Turkey and Hungary to ratify the accession without further delay,” Stoltenberg in an interview published on Tuesday by Hungarian portal index.hu.

Turkey and Hungary are the only NATO member states yet to ratify Sweden’s entry into the alliance.

Turkey has cited Sweden’s alleged inaction against alleged Kurdish militants on its soil, while Hungary refers to “unfair” criticism from Swedish politicians regarding the decline of democratic values in the country.

During the interview, Stoltenberg praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for sending the accession protocol to the parliament for ratification.

He expressed confidence in Hungary fulfilling its commitment, recalling Budapest’s assurances that it wouldn’t be the last to ratify Sweden’s accession.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has justified the delay, citing criticism from Swedish politicians accusing his government of undermining democratic standards and the rule of law.

In September, Orbán stated that there was “no rush” as nothing posed a threat to Sweden’s security.

Stoltenberg reiterated that Ukraine’s “future lies in” NATO, although he did not predict a date for possible membership.

“Ukraine is closer than ever to NATO, and we will continue to support it in implementing the necessary reforms on its path to membership,” he said.

NATO foreign ministers are set to meet in Brussels on Tuesday. EFE

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