The political landscape of the Western World is poised for a significant shift as Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has voiced his support for Sweden’s bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The announcement comes ahead of a summit of NATO leaders in Vilnius, Lithuania starting Tuesday.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both Sweden and Finland requested to join NATO last year, reversing their previous policies of military neutrality. Finland was granted membership in April after receiving consent from all NATO nations.
The move was a surprise for many, given Turkey’s recent disagreements with NATO on various issues. This endorsement hints at Ankara’s potential shift in foreign policy. The endorsement is likely to accelerate Sweden’s NATO membership process, bolstering the bloc’s collective defense in an increasingly tense global political climate.
Erdoğan’s endorsement came during a conversation with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. The Turkish leader’s support could give a significant boost to Sweden’s membership bid, which has been under consideration for several years.
Sweden has been a NATO partner but not a full member, which means it participates in NATO-led operations and exercises but does not enjoy the collective defense guarantee. With the intensifying geopolitical tensions in Europe, particularly the Ukraine crisis, Sweden has reevaluated its stance.
Sweden’s renewed interest in NATO membership has been met with resistance from Russia, which views NATO’s eastward expansion as a security threat. Erdoğan’s support could potentially escalate tensions between Russia and NATO further.
This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Zenger News editors.
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Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Arnab Nandy
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