President Biden hosted Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson at the White House on Wednesday.
In a statement, the White House said Biden and Kristersson would “review our growing security cooperation and reaffirm their view that Sweden should join NATO as soon as possible.”
The two leaders were also expected to discuss the Ukraine-Russia War as well as “closer transatlantic coordination on the People’s Republic of China.”
Sweden ended a 200-year policy of neutrality when it applied for NATO membership along with neighbor Finland in May 2022, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February of that year.
However, while Finland officially joined the world’s largest military alliance in April of this year, Sweden’s membership has been held up by Turkey over a dispute surrounding the treatment of anti-Islam activists and pro-Kurdish groups inside Sweden.
Hungary also has yet to ratify Sweden’s bid. A long-delayed parliamentary vote on Sweden’s membership is not set to occur until Hungarian lawmakers’ autumn legislative session.
A nation’s membership application must be approved unanimously. Turkey was the last of NATO’s 30 nations to ratify Finland’s membership.
“The United States fully, fully, fully supports Sweden’s membership in NATO,” Biden said during a photo op with Kristersson on Wednesday. “Sweden is going to make our alliance stronger and has the same values set that we have in NATO.”
He also welcomed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to the White House on June 15.
And on July 4th Biden spoke by phone with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The meetings and discussions have been in preparation for the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania for the July 11-12 NATO Summit.