NATO's Stoltenberg expects Hungary to ratify Sweden membership at end of Feb

# 26 January 2024 15:28 (UTC +04:00)

NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday he expected Hungary's parliament to ratify Sweden's accession as soon as it reconvenes at the end of February, clearing the final hurdle for the Nordic nation to join the Western military alliance, APA reports citing Reuters.

Hungary became the last NATO country still to give the legal green light to Swedish membership after the Turkish parliament ratified Stockholm's application on Tuesday and President Tayyip Erdogan signed off on the approval on Thursday.

All of NATO's 31 members have to ratify an applicant country's accession before it can join the alliance.

Stoltenberg, secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban had assured him in a telephone call this week and that he supports Sweden's accession.

"Swedish membership in NATO will make NATO stronger and all of us safer," Stoltenberg told reporters at NATO headquarters.

"It has been made clear that the parliament will take up this as soon as the parliament convenes and the message is that the parliament will then support ratification of Swedish membership," Stoltenberg said.

"The message I have received is that the parliament will reconvene at the end of February so we have to wait for that," he added.

"But I am absolutely confident and I count on Hungary that the ratification of Sweden will be ratified as soon as the parliament reconvenes at the end of February."

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