The New York Times: Sweden allows NATO to deploy its forces on its soil

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The New York Times revealed, in a report on Friday, that in the context of optimism, that Sweden will soon be able to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Swedish government said that will allow NATO to deploy forces on its soil even before formal accession to the alliance.

“The government has decided to allow the Swedish Armed Forces to make preparations with the NATO alliance and its countries, to pave the way for joint operations in the future,” said Ulf Kristersson, the Swedish Prime Minister, and Pal Johnson, the Minister of Defense, in an article for the Swedish Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

These measures may include “The temporary stationing of foreign equipment and soldiers on Swedish soil,” and the purpose of this “decision is to be a clear statement of our position before Moscow; and strengthening Sweden’s defense.

In a related context. Last year, Sweden submitted a request to join NATO shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

However, objections from Türkiye and Hungary have delayed moving forward, and Sweden now hopes to join ahead of a NATO summit in Lithuania next month.

Meanwhile, a prominent ambassador to a NATO country said that there is now greater confidence that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will agree to Sweden’s accession to NATO.

For his part, Hakan Fidan, the new Turkish foreign minister, spoke with his Swedish counterpart on Wednesday.

Next week (June 4), Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the Alliance is scheduled to meet representatives of Türkiye, Sweden and Finland.

Stoltenberg said that Sweden had fulfilled Türkiye’s demands, but the Turkish president refused to accept Sweden’s membership during his election campaign, arguing that Stockholm had not met Türkiye’s requests to fight terrorism – especially in the face of the activity of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

It didn’t hand over wanted persons accused by Türkiye of participating in terrorist acts.

In contrast, Sweden says it amended its constitution last year, tightening the anti-terrorism law, which took effect on June 1, and lifting the ban on arms sales to Türkiye.

In addition, the Swedish Supreme Court ruled this week to allow the government to extradite a wanted Kurdish, who the Turkish government says is a supporter of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and wanted to fulfill a sentence imposed on him in Türkiye.

If the optimistic expectations of Sweden’s imminent accession to NATO are correct, it expected that Hungary won’t wait long before following Ankara’s example in approving the decision to join.

In a related context, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, Sunday, June 4, after his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, that a meeting will be held between Türkiye, Sweden and Finland this month; To try to overcome the objections that delayed the ratification of Sweden’s request to join the alliance.

In March, Türkiye ratified Finland’s request to join NATO, but it still objects to Sweden’s accession, which is the same position as Hungary.

Türkiye has said Stockholm harbors members of armed groups that Ankara deems terrorist.

“Sweden is taking important concrete steps to address Türkiye’s concerns,” Stoltenberg told reporters, referring to a constitutional amendment in Sweden, which has also intensified its cooperation with Ankara on combating terrorism.

Stoltenberg’s talks took place in Istanbul after he participated in the inauguration ceremony of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who won a new presidential term after the run-off in the elections.

In response to a question about Sweden’s chances of becoming a member of the alliance before the upcoming NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, in mid-July, Stoltenberg said that there is still time.

He added that the next round of talks between officials from Finland, Sweden and Türkiye will take place around the middle of next week, without specifying a date.

NATO defense ministers will meet in Brussels on June 15-16.

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