NATO to host meeting on Sweden's membership bid next week - Stoltenberg

  • 2023-06-26
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - In the run-up to NATO's summit in Vilnius in mid-July, a high-level meeting will be held next week in Brussels to try and agree on Sweden's membership of the Alliance, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in Lithuania on Monday.

"We agreed to convene a high-level meeting in Brussels before the summit," he told reporters in Pabrade, close to Vilnius.

Stoltenberg said he was in regular contact with Swedish and Turkish officials to resolve the ongoing disagreements that are now blocking Stockholm's accession to the Alliance.

Next week's meeting in Brussels is expected to bring together the countries' foreign ministers, intelligence chiefs and national security advisers.

"The aim is to make progress in completing Sweden's accession to NATO," the secretary general said.

Turkey and Hungary are the only NATO members that have not yet ratified Sweden's membership. Budapest plans to take a decision before the Vilnius summit, but Ankara is stalling.

Turkey accuses Sweden of being too lenient on terrorist organizations and security threats, including Kurdish paramilitary groups and individuals linked to the 2016 coup attempt.

Joining NATO requires the unanimous consent of all existing members.