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Polish FM in Stockholm says he's sure Turkey will approve Sweden's, Finland's NATO bids

03.02.2023 20:00
Poland's foreign minister has said his government is confident that Turkey will approve Sweden's and Finland's applications to join the NATO alliance. 
Polands Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau (left) and Swedens Tobias Billstrm (right) hold a joint news conference after their talks in Stockholm on Friday, February 3, 2023.
Poland's Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau (left) and Sweden's Tobias Billström (right) hold a joint news conference after their talks in Stockholm on Friday, February 3, 2023.PAP/Mateusz Marek

Zbigniew Rau made the statement in Stockholm on Friday, Polish state news agency PAP reported. 

Poland’s top diplomat was speaking at a joint news conference with his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billström, following their talks earlier in the day.

The two foreign ministers had discussed Polish-Swedish relations, Sweden’s accession to NATO, security policy in the Baltic region, and support for war-torn Ukraine, according to officials.

Rau told reporters afterwards that Poland had "supported the entry of Sweden and Finland to NATO right from the start" and was “one of the first countries to ratify” the move. 

'We are convinced Turkey will approve accession of Sweden and Finland'

He added that since Turkey came out against the accession of Sweden "over the Kurdish issue," Warsaw had been persuading Ankara that “the entry of Sweden and Finland is extremely important for strengthening the security architecture in the Baltic Sea region during the biggest crisis since World War II,” caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Rau stated: “We are convinced that Turkey will approve the accession of Sweden and Finland by the time NATO holds its summit meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania.”

He cautioned: “Otherwise, not only would it be a PR failure, but trust in NATO as a whole would be undermined.”

'Common concern' for 'security and prosperity of Baltic Sea region'

Referring to bilateral relations, Rau said that Poland "has long valued cooperation with Sweden, both in the bilateral format and in international fora."

He added, as quoted by the Polish foreign ministry: "We share a common concern for the future, security and prosperity of the Baltic Sea region.”

Meanwhile, Sweden’s Billström described bilateral ties with Poland as “very strong.”

The Swedish foreign minister told reporters: “We have built up a strategic partnership with Poland, and we’ll continue to develop bilateral cooperation, especially in such important fields as regional security, support for Ukraine, enlargement of the European Union and transatlantic ties.”         

Friday’s talks with Billström concluded Rau’s two-day trip to Sweden, officials said.

Friday was day 345 of Russia’s war against Ukraine. 


Source: PAP, gov.pl, wpolityce.pl