The decision on Sweden’s membership will be dependent on whether Sweden fulfills the conditions set by Turkey, as per Turkish media reports.
Sweden is planning to submit its NATO membership bid to the Turkish parliament in October, as per the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. The decision on Sweden’s membership will be dependent on whether Sweden fulfills the conditions set by Turkey.
The Foreign Affairs Commission may approve Sweden’s membership bid as a declaration of intent, but the outcome could hinge on the support and reconciliation between Turkey and the EU, particularly with the backing of Germany and France, the newspaper added, citing sources.
Germany and France are supporting Sweden’s bid to join NATO, and the United States is also pushing for it. Both countries are willing to address some of Turkey’s requests to facilitate the process. In case Turkey denies Sweden’s accession, Germany and France are ready to take steps to expedite Sweden’s NATO membership.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had previously stated that Sweden’s NATO membership could be considered after Turkey becomes a member of the European Union. As a response, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that Turkey agreed to process Sweden’s NATO application promptly, and in return, Stockholm assured its support for Turkey’s EU path.
Sweden and Finland submitted their NATO applications in May 2022, following Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. While Turkey’s immediate EU accession is uncertain, France and Germany are determined to reduce Sweden’s waiting time for EU membership.
US Senator still blocks F-16 sale to Turkey after accepting Sweden bid
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez is adamant about blocking the F-16 fighter jet sales to Turkey even though the latter stated it would swiftly consider Sweden joining NATO, according to a report published by Defense News last Wednesday.
Menendez continues to block selling the most advanced 4th generation US-made fighter aircraft, according to the report, which cited Menendez as saying, “I’ve always said that the ratification of Sweden, which should naturally occur, is not the sine qua non of why I would lift the hold on F-16s.”
“There are bigger issues than just that alone,” however, he did agree to a $259 million sale of avionics software upgrades for Turkey’s current F-16 fleet, as per Defense News.
The delivery of F-16 fighter jets was a topic of conversation during a phone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Joe Biden on July 9, according to the Turkish presidency. The two leaders also addressed Sweden and Ukraine’s applications for NATO membership.