Swedish defense minister plans to visit Ankara next week over NATO bid

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Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson plans to travel next week to Ankara at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar, Jonson’s spokesperson said on Thursday as the Nordic country hopes to nudge Turkey to ratify its bid to join NATO.

Sweden and neighboring Finland last year applied to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but members Turkey and Hungary have yet to endorse the applications.

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Turkey has said Sweden in particular must first take a clearer stance against what it sees as terrorists.

It last week withdrew an invitation to Sweden’s parliament speaker to visit Ankara after an incident in Stockholm in which an effigy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was strung up, adding further diplomatic strain to the NATO bid.

Akar had on Tuesday told reporters there were plans for a visit by Jonson.

Read more:

Sweden, Finland must send up to 130 “terrorists” to Turkey for NATO bid: Erdogan

Sweden in a ‘good position’ regarding NATO process with Turkey: PM

Turkey’s Erdogan keeps Sweden, Finland, and the world guessing on NATO expansion


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