Poland to persuade Turkey to let Sweden into NATO
Poland will use its good relations with Ankara to convince Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to finally approve Sweden’s NATO membership, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said during a visit to Stockholm.
Morawiecki met with his counterpart Ulf Kristersson in Stockholm, expressing support for Sweden and Finlands’ NATO accession bids, insisting that the alliance needs “new, powerful allies,” the public Polish Radio reported.
Speaking of Turkey recently firmly opposing Sweden’s entry into NATO, Morawiecki said that Poland would “use its own good relations with the Turkish partners to convince them to the fastest possible, and preferably concurrent, accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO.”
Sweden and Finland joining NATO would be “a real game changer” for the NATO alliance and a “breakthrough for the world’s security architecture”, he added.
Negotiations between Sweden and Turkey on Stockholm’s NATO bid stalled after Danish-Swedish activist Rasmus Paludan burnt the Quran during a protest near the Turkish Embassy last month. The incident was followed by a series of anti-Sweden demonstrations in Muslim countries.
However, issues were already present as Ankara demanded the extradition of Turkish citizens it accuses of involvement in the 2016 attempted coup d’etat, something Stockholm hesitated to abide with.
While firmly ruling out the possibility of ratifying Sweden’s NATO application for now, Erdoğan recently signalled his readiness to treat the Finnish case separately and maybe admit the country to the North Atlantic Alliance faster than its neighbour.
Finland, for its part, says it will stick to its initial plan and join NATO with Sweden, even if this takes more time. Still, Finland, and particularly its president, Sauli Niinistö, is confident that both countries will join NATO at the Vilnius summit in July.
During the joint press conference with Morawiecki, Kristersson welcomed the fact Poland was among the first NATO states to have ratified Sweden’s accession and thanked Morawiecki for his offer to discuss matters with Erdogan.
Turkey and Hungary remain the only two of 30 NATO member states that still have not ratified NATO membership for Finland and Sweden.
(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | EURACTIV.pl)