The Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee approved the request last week in a major step towards expanding the Western bloc after a 19-month delay. The next step is to vote in the General Assembly of Parliament.
Blinken raised Sweden's request during his meeting on Saturday with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan On the first day of a week-long tour of the region to discuss the conflict in Gaza.
The American minister told reporters in Greece, “We also talked in Turkey about the final steps in the process of ratifying Sweden's accession to NATO in the coming weeks.”
He also met with the Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan His American counterpart assured him of Ankara's aspiration for Washington's decision on the sale of F-16 fighters to Turkey, explaining that the final decision regarding Sweden's membership in NATO rests with the Turkish parliament.
Sweden submitted its request in 2022 after the war in Ukraine, but the Turkish President expressed objections to what he described as Stockholm’s protection of individuals Ankara considers terrorists.
In contrast, American lawmakers suspended the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey until it agreed to Sweden's accession.