Sweden has a 'parliamentary process' before it can join NATO, says Turkish President's Chief Advisor

2023-07-12 09:17:59 | Last Update : 2023-07-12 10:02:49

Turkish President Erdogan's chief advisor Kilic said that the approval of Sweden's NATO membership will not be a fast process as the Turkish parliament is on vacation. Kilic said Erdogan would first discuss the situation with MHP leader Bahceli after the summit.

Sweden has a 'parliamentary process' before it can join NATO, says Turkish President's Chief Advisor
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Akif Cagatay Kilic, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's chief foreign policy and security adviser, told Japan's national newspaper Nikkei Asia that Türkiye's approval of Sweden's NATO membership may not be a fast process due to the parliament's schedule.

Kilic said Erdogan would sit down with coalition partner MHP leader Devlet Bahceli after returning from the NATO summit in Lithuania and then send Sweden's ratification documents to parliament.

"The administration will do its part to send it to parliament as soon as possible," Akif Cagatay Kilic said on the sidelines of the summit on Tuesday.


However, parliament will be in recess starting next week and will continue until October 1. This means that there is little time left to make Sweden a new member of the alliance before the summer break.

"It's not like you press a button and the next day everything happens. There is a parliamentary process, so I don't think it will happen this week," he said.


Kilic acknowledged that Sweden has made efforts to address concerns about anti-Turkish groups, but signaled that Ankara hopes for more from Stockholm.

"They have fulfilled some of the requirements in the trilateral agreement," Kilic said, pointing to the 10-point Trilateral Memorandum signed between Türkiye and prospective NATO members Finland and Sweden ahead of last year's NATO summit in Madrid.

Finland and Sweden had pledged to "swiftly and comprehensively handle Türkiye's deportation or extradition requests for terror suspects," but this has not happened on the scale Ankara would like to see.


President Erdogan, who met with US President Joe Biden in Vilnius on Tuesday, signaled readiness for a new phase in bilateral relations. "On behalf of myself and my nation, I would like to thank you for your call and congratulatory message on the occasion of my re-election," Erdogan said.

Noting that the two heads of state should come together more often, Erdogan said, "Our previous meetings were almost like a warm-up tour, but now we are starting a new process."


Kilic said Ankara wants the European Union negotiation process to be "revitalized" and that there are some chapters that could be worked on, including visa liberalization and updating the customs union.

"60% of our trade is with the EU and so we want to see a renewal and a better atmosphere with our EU partners as well," he said.

"On visa liberalization, [Turkey] has already been promised. There are very few points that are missing, so we are quite ready to address that," he said.

Source: Nikkei Asia

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