Sweden Moves A Step Closer To NATO Membership After Turkey’s Parliamentary Committee Gives Approval

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: International Relations

Topic: Bilateral Relations

Issue: Sweden joining the NATO.

Context: Turkish Parliament approved Sweden’s bid to join NATO, clearing another hurdle in the Nordic country’s accession process in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

What softened Turkey’s stance on Sweden and Its Importance?

Sweden’s NATO bid faced Turkish opposition due to alleged ties with “terrorist” groups, impacting the alliance’s decision-making.

  • Diplomatic Breakthrough: After a year of intensive negotiations and global lobbying, Turkey agreed to Sweden joining NATO.
  • Swedish Concessions: Addressing Turkish concerns, Sweden amended its constitution, bolstered counter-terrorism cooperation, and resumed arms exports to Turkey.
  • Trilateral Milestone: In 2022, a memorandum outlined Sweden’s commitments, leading to a new Security Compact and the establishment of a NATO Special Coordinator for Counter-terrorism.
  • Erdogan’s Linkage: President Erdogan tied approval for Sweden’s NATO bid to Turkey’s EU membership, reviving talks suspended in 2016 over human rights concerns.
  • Swedish Pledges: Sweden committed to supporting Turkey’s EU-related demands, including modernizing the EU-Turkey Customs Union and advocating for visa liberalization.
  • S. Impact: President Biden’s announcement of F-16 transfers to Turkey post-NATO deal added weight to the diplomatic developments.
  • NATO’s View: Sweden’s NATO membership aligns with alliance expansion plans, fortifying security and defense integration in the Nordic, Baltic, and Arctic regions.


Despite Turkey’s approval, challenges remain, including the ratification of Sweden’s Accession Protocol in Turkey’s Grand National Assembly, potentially facing opposition related to Kurdish concerns.


What is NATO?

  • Formed in 1949 with the signing of the Washington Treaty, NATO is a security alliance of 30 countries from North America and Europe.
    • Recently, Finland joined the alliance as its 31st
  • NATO’s fundamental goal is to safeguard the Allies’ freedom and security by political and military means.
  • It is a system of collective defensewhere independent member states agree for mutual defense in case of any attack by an external party.
  • Headquarters – Brussels, Belgium.
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