Sweden will join NATO soon: Biden

Sweden will join NATO soon: Biden

Jun 02, 2023

Washington [US], June 2: US President Joe Biden has said he is confident that Sweden will join NATO "as soon as possible", despite Turkey and Hungary continuing to block the northern European country's accession to the alliance.
Speaking at a United States Air Force Academy graduation ceremony on Thursday, Biden praised NATO's unity amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"NATO is more energised and more united than it's been in decades. It's now even stronger with the accession of our newest ally, Finland - and soon Sweden - to the alliance, as soon as possible. It will happen. I promise you," the US president said.
His remarks come just days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Turkey to approve Sweden's bid to become a NATO member.
"From the perspective of the United States, the time is now to finalise Sweden's accession," Blinken told reporters in the northern Swedish city of Lulea on Tuesday.
The top US diplomat also voiced hope that the process would be completed before a NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius in July.
NATO countries need to ratify new members. The US-led bloc has a collective defence pact - known as Article 5 - that stipulates that an attack on one NATO member-state is an attack on the entire alliance.
Sweden and neighbouring Finland began seeking NATO membership last year after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Finland officially joined the alliance in April, but Sweden's application is still pending.
Hungary and Turkey have yet to approve Sweden's accession, but Ankara is seen as the main obstacle. Turkey has accused Sweden of providing a safe haven to members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which it considers a "terrorist" group.
Source: Qatar Tribune