NATO Secretary General reveals date of Ankara visit

    WORLD  02 June 2023 - 17:49

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will visit Türkiye on June 3-4.

    Stoltenberg will attend the inauguration ceremony of reelected President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and will also hold a number of meetings.

    The NATO secretary general previously said that he intended to visit Ankara to discuss the issue of Stockholm's membership in NATO, in a bid to close a process that has been delayed due to objections from member countries Türkiye and Hungary, Reuters reports.

    Speaking during a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Oslo, Stoltenberg said he had spoken earlier this week to Tayyip Erdogan, who won re-election as Türkiye’s president at the weekend.

    "I will also travel to Ankara in the near future to continue to address how we can ensure the fastest possible accession of Sweden," Stoltenberg told reporters.

    With Turkish elections over and Erdogan winning another term as president, some NATO foreign ministers expressed optimism Ankara would now lift its objections to Stockholm's bid to join the military alliance.

    "Now that Turkish elections are over, it is important that Türkiye goes on with the ratification process," said Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.

    Türkiye ratified Finland's NATO accession in March but said Sweden harbours members of militant groups it considers terrorists.

    Timing-wise, several foreign ministers expressed confidence Sweden could become a member before, or at, a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July.

    Sweden, invited to Oslo, again stressed it had fulfilled all the conditions set to become a military alliance member.

    Caliber.Az

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