Biden welcomes Sweden’s acceptance into NATO « Khabarhub
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024

Biden welcomes Sweden’s acceptance into NATO


11 July 2023  

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VILNIUS, LITHUANIA: President Joe Biden welcomed the news that Sweden will be admitted to NATO, overcoming objections from the last holdout in the security alliance, Turkey, on the eve of a major summit of the security bloc in Lithuania’s capital.

“I stand ready to work with (Turkish) President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan and (Turkey) on enhancing defense and deterrence in the Euro-Atlantic area,” Biden said in a statement issued from Vilnius, where he is attending the summit of NATO leaders. “I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Kristersson and Sweden as our 32nd NATO Ally.”

Biden is set to meet with Erdogan late Tuesday at the end of the first day of the summit.

Erdogan had opposed Sweden’s membership, accusing Stockholm of not doing enough to crack down on their branch of a political party that Turkey’s government sees as extremists.

In what appeared to be a last-ditch parry on the eve of the summit, Erdogan linked the Sweden issue with Ankara’s stalled demands to join the European Union.

“The United States has always supported (Turkey’s) EU membership aspirations and continues to do so. (Turkey’s) membership application and process is a matter between the EU and (Turkey),” a National Security Council spokesperson told VOA.

The official asked not to be identified, as is common practice when discussing administration policy. “Our focus is on Sweden, which is ready to join the NATO Alliance.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Turkey’s decision on Sweden, calling it “an historic step” that makes all members stronger and safer.

(VOA)

Publish Date : 11 July 2023 07:03 AM

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