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White House: Biden ‘remains optimistic’ on Sweden’s NATO bid

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US president ‘confident that the 2 nations will be able to come to an accord,’ says John Kirby

US President Joe Biden “remains optimistic” that Sweden’s bid to join the NATO alliance will be approved, the White House said Friday.

The US has “been encouraging” dialogue between Stockholm and Ankara over Sweden’s accession process “to continue,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

“As the president has said, he’s confident that the two nations will be able to come to an accord, and we’ll be able to welcome Sweden as the 32nd ally in NATO,” he said.

“I couldn’t begin right now to give you like a timeframe of what that’s going to look like, when and under what circumstances, but the fact that they’re still talking is a good thing,” he added.

Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership soon after Russia launched its war against Ukraine in February 2022. Although Türkiye approved Finland’s membership to NATO, it is waiting for Sweden to abide by a trilateral memorandum signed last June in Madrid to address Ankara’s security concerns.

Several NATO allies, including the US, hope Türkiye will approve Sweden’s ascension process ahead of a summit in Lithuania’s capital of Vilnius set for July 11-12.

Sweden passed an anti-terror law in November hoping Ankara would approve its bid to join NATO. The new law, effective June 1, allows authorities to prosecute individuals who support terror groups.

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