World leaders urge Turkey and Hungary to let Sweden join Nato

AFP/The Local
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World leaders urge Turkey and Hungary to let Sweden join Nato
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, speaking with Sweden's Foreign Minister Tobias Billström at a Nato meeting in November. In the background is Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru

Leaders from the US, the UK and Germany celebrated Finland officially joining the Nato alliance on Tuesday, while urging holdouts Turkey and Hungary to accept Sweden into the alliance.


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken marked Finland's arrival in the Nato alliance on Tuesday with an appeal to Hungary and Turkey to drop their objections to Sweden following suit.

"Sweden is also a strong and capable partner that is ready to join Nato," Blinken said.

"We encourage Turkey and Hungary to ratify the accession protocols for Sweden without delay so we can welcome Sweden into the alliance as soon as possible."


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hailed Finland's "historic" accession to Nato.

Finland's formal accession as the 31st member of Nato "has made our Alliance stronger and every one of us safer", Sunak said.

"All Nato members now need to take the steps necessary to admit Sweden too, so we can stand together as one Alliance to defend freedom in Europe and across the world."

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, attending the Nato meeting in Brussels where Finland acceded, announced another £12 million ($16 million) in "non-lethal" military aid to Ukraine such as medical equipment and rations.

"Russia thought its aggression would divide us. Instead, we are bound tighter together, resolute in our defence of the principles of freedom and the rule of law," Cleverly said.

"Let us be clear that our door remains open. We will welcome further allies with open arms and we continue to push for Sweden's swift accession."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Finland's accession to Nato was "good news and a win for transatlantic security".

"Sweden's still pending accession has our full support," he added.



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