NATO Reverses Stance on Turkey's Demands Regarding Sweden's Membership

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.30 - 2024 8:54 AM CET

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Photo: Shutterstock.com
NATO Reverses Stance on Turkey's Demands Regarding Sweden's Membership.

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NATO has aligned with Turkey's demands concerning Sweden's membership in the alliance. This shift follows the United States' recent approval to sell 40 new F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, a decision closely tied to Turkey's stance on Sweden's NATO bid.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin linked his approval of the F-16 sale to Turkey's endorsement of Sweden's NATO membership.

"My approval of Turkey's request to buy F-16 aircraft has been contingent upon Turkish approval of Sweden's NATO membership," Cardin stated.

In a parallel move, Canada has ended its four-year-long arms embargo against Turkey, resuming weapons deliveries to the Erdogan administration, as reported by Reuters.

The lack of access to Canadian weapons had been a complicating factor for the Turkish parliament in immediately affirming Sweden's NATO membership.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had previously indicated that Sweden's application was interconnected with the F-16 deal and Canada's weapons embargo.

"I believe the positive developments we expect regarding both the USA's F-16 issue and Canada keeping its promises will accelerate our parliament's positive view on the matter," Erdoğan commented before Christmas.

The termination of Canadian drone technology sales to NATO ally Turkey in 2020 came after findings that some equipment was utilized by Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, a region since reclaimed by Baku.

There are conflicting reports on whether Turkey fulfilled the requirements to lift the embargo or if Canada conditioned the resumption of sales on Turkey's approval of Sweden's NATO application.

Under the new agreement, Turkey must explicitly state whether drones or other equipment will be re-exported or transferred to a non-NATO country and in what manner. An exception is made for Ukraine.

"Canada will review each export on a case-by-case basis and states that they can revoke the permission at any time if there is any misuse," the Canadian government emphasized in a statement.

However, Armenia has expressed dissatisfaction with the new agreement. The Armenian National Committee in Canada condemned the lifting of the weapons embargo. "This decision has raised alarming concerns within the Armenian-Canadian community, as it jeopardizes Canada's commitment to human rights, international security, and justice," the group stated in a comment.

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