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    NATO Chief: Sweden Has Done What’s Needed to Join Alliance

    NATO Chief: Sweden Has Done What’s Needed to Join Alliance

    STOCKHOLM — It's time for Sweden to join because it has done what's necessary to secure 's approval for membership, the alliance's secretary-general said Monday.

    “I have said that time has come to bring to an end the ratification process for Sweden,” Jens Stoltenberg told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet in an interview.

    In May, Sweden and neighboring Finland dropped their longstanding policies of military nonalignment and applied to join NATO following Russia's invasion of . The move requires the unanimous approval of the alliance members. Turkey has held up the process while pressing the two Nordic countries to crack down on groups it considers to be terrorist organizations and to extradite people suspected of terror-related crimes.

    Last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sweden was not even “halfway” through fulfilling the commitments it made to secure Ankara's support. His remarks came after a Swedish court ruled against extraditing a journalist wanted by Turkey for alleged links to a 2016 failed coup.

    “I am confident that Sweden will become a member of NATO. I do not want to give a precise date for when that happens,” Stoltenberg said. “So far, it has been a rare, unusual and fast membership process. Normally, it takes several years.”

    Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has said that Sweden has lived up to its commitments and that the…

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