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US hopes Sweden will join NATO as soon as possible after Turkey move

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The United States on Monday welcomed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s submission to parliament of Sweden’s NATO membership and hoped for approval as soon as possible, Agence France-Presse reported.

“We welcome that step,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters, voicing hope that the bill “will be considered in the Turkish parliament and passed as soon as possible.”

Erdoğan officially submitted Sweden’s NATO membership application for ratification by the Turkish parliament on Monday, his office said, bringing closer the possible end of a 17-month standoff.

“Sweden’s NATO membership protocol was signed on October 23, 2023 by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and sent to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey,” the presidency posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson called the announcement “encouraging news.”

“Now it remains for the parliament to deal with the issue,” Kristersson said, also in a post on X.

“We look forward to becoming a NATO member,” he added.

Ankara was facing growing pressure from its NATO counterparts to approve Stockholm’s bid to join after well over a year of delay.

Only Turkey and Hungary have yet to ratify Sweden’s membership after Stockholm dropped its long-standing policy of non-alignment to apply in the face of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Erdoğan agreed at a NATO summit in Vilnius in July to put the ratification of Sweden’s membership before his parliament.

Finland, which applied to join NATO at the same time as Sweden, was granted membership in April.

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