The Turkish Parliament has officially approved Sweden’s participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). This is a very important event in the history of the country. This choice is a big deal in the world of diplomacy because it strengthens the ties between Turkey and Sweden and helps keep the alliance safe and stable.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation-NATO is a military and political union that was created on April 4, 1949. They signed the North Atlantic Treaty, which was also previously called the Washington Treaty. Initially, it was made up of twelve countries. This is where everything began. The primary objective of NATO is to advance the principles of collective defense and mutual security among its member nations. In response to the perceived Soviet Union’s post-World War II expansionist agenda, Western European and North American countries joined forces to establish the alliance.

NATO was established as a defensive alliance during the Cold War by the democratic capitalist nations against the Soviet bloc.

According to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, any act of aggression involving weapons against one or more member states of NATO is considered an assault on all nations within the NATO alliance. The foundation of NATO is based on this principle. The alliance’s determination to collectively protect itself showcases its aspiration to deter future acts of aggression and maintain peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region.

NATO has evolved and transformed over the years in response to shifting security challenges, including terrorism, cybercrime, and regional instability. An increasing number of countries are joining the alliance due to their commitment to democracy and their ability to contribute towards the alliance’s goals. NATO collaborates with non-NATO organizations to promote global comprehension, collaboration, and security, alongside its member countries. The alliance maintains pace with the constantly evolving geopolitical landscape by emphasizing the importance of adaptation and interoperability among its member nations’ armed forces. With 30 member countries, NATO’s headquarters lies in Brussels, Belgium. Collective defense, the promotion of democratic ideals, and the resolution of modern security threats are all areas in which the alliance continues to play an essential role.

Following the latest update, on Tuesday 23 January 2024, Sweden’s membership in NATO was accepted by Turkey’s lawmakers. This removed a major obstacle to the country joining the armed alliance after not being a member before. With 287 votes in favor and 55 votes against, the legislators agreed to Sweden’s plan to join the EU. It will become law after it is made public in the Official Gazette, which should happen soon. It has been more than a year since Turkey, a NATO member, stopped Sweden from joining because it says Sweden is too easy on groups that Ankara sees as security risks. Stockholm has been asked to take a tougher stance against terrorists from the Kurdish group PKK and people from a network that Ankara says was behind a failed coup in 2016.

People in Sweden who supported the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party held protests, and Qurans were burned at protests in Muslim countries.

This made Turkey very angry. The first step in making laws was taken last month when the foreign affairs committee of parliament agreed to Sweden’s plan. The move came after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey sent the country’s accession paper to lawmakers to be approved. A lot of the people in Parliament are from Erdogan’s party and its conservative allies. It was thought that the plan would pass in the vote on 21st January and that was exactly what happened.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akcapar, Sweden should join the EU. He made the case by mentioning actions the country had taken to meet Turkish requests, such as changing anti-terrorism laws and easing limits on sales to the defense industry. Sweden has said that it will work more closely with Turkey to fight terrorism and will support Turkey’s bid to join the EU again. A big opposition party in Turkey also wants Sweden to join the alliance. But a center-right party and a pro-Kurdish party in the country have said they will not back it.

According to Musavat Dervisoglu, a legislator from the Good Party, Sweden’s efforts to extradite wanted offenders or combat terrorism have been insufficient and restricted. Erdogan has stipulated that the consent of the U.S. Congress is necessary for Turkey’s acquisition of 40 new F-16 fighter jets and the enhancement of its existing fleet, as a precondition for Sweden’s admission into NATO. In addition, he has requested that Canada and other NATO allies lift their restrictions on providing Turkey with weaponry. Koray Aydin, a member of the Good Party, requested that parliament postpone accepting Sweden’s membership until the approval of F-16 sales and modernization kits in Washington. According to him, in the absence of parliamentary action, Turkey would forfeit a significant bargaining tool.

The Biden administration has not formally established a direct connection between the supply of F-16s and Turkey’s endorsement of Sweden’s NATO membership.

Several influential members of Congress have expressed their refusal to support the sale until Turkey consents to Sweden’s inclusion in the alliance. These lawmakers possess the authority to halt or, at the very least, impede the process of selling. Administrative officials anticipate a swift completion of the F-16 transaction. John Kirby serves as the spokesperson for the National Security Council in Washington, D.C., said that the White House had been closely watching what the Turkish parliament did. It was said by the president that Sweden was ready to join NATO, which Kirby agreed with. “And we look forward to their joining the alliance for sure.” He also said that Sweden has “a modern, advanced military that we’re very happy with.”

They will also give the Union some really important new military power. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Sweden and Finland gave up their traditional views of not supporting any military alliance to seek safety under NATO’s security umbrella. After Finland’s bid was approved by Turkey’s government in April, the Nordic country became NATO’s 31st member. Hungary also stopped Sweden’s bid because they said Swedish leaders told “blatant lies” about how democratic Hungary was. Hungary said it wouldn’t be the last country to agree to join, but it wasn’t clear when the Hungarian parliament would hold a vote. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised Turkey’s choice.

Another thing he asked was for Hungary to “finish its national ratification as soon as possible.” In Vilnius, all of NATO’s allies agreed to ask Sweden to join the Alliance. Sweden kept its end of the deal. “Being a part of NATO makes it stronger and makes us all safer,” he said. Tuesday, Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary, said that he had sent a letter to Ulf Kristersson, the prime minister of Sweden, asking him to Budapest to talk about Sweden’s membership in NATO. To grow, NATO needs the unanimous agreement of all its current members. Turkey and Hungary were the only ones refusing to join, which was frustrating for other NATO partners who wanted Sweden and Finland to join quickly.

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