Turkish Parliament approves Sweden NATO bid

Turkey’s Parliament voted Tuesday to approve Sweden’s accession to the Western security alliance NATO, clearing a major obstacle for the Nordic nation in its bid to join the defensive organization.

The legislative assembly in Ankara approved the Swedish bid 287-55, according to Turkish outlets. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will just need to sign the document into law.

Once signed, that leaves only Hungary to approve Sweden’s accession to NATO.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbàn on Tuesday invited Swedish counterpart Ulf Kristersson to meet and discuss the ratification. Some parliamentary members in Hungary have expressed concerns about Sweden’s fractious relations with Budapest.

Kristersson’s office said Tuesday after the Turkey vote that Sweden is now “one step closer to becoming a full member of NATO.”

“Positive that the Grand General Assembly of Türkiye has voted in favour of Sweden’s NATO accession,” the office wrote on X.

Along with Finland, Sweden applied to NATO in 2022, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine and renewed security concerns.

While Finland was swiftly brought into the alliance, both Hungary and Turkey have stalled Sweden’s acceptance.

Erdoğan expressed concern about Sweden’s support for Kurdish militants, which his country has long fought against.

The Turkish leader also tied his support for Sweden joining NATO — a major goal for the U.S. to counter Russia — to the sale of American-made F-16 fighter jets to his country.

While there were concerns that Turkey would continue to delay, during a NATO summit last July, Erdoğan met with Kristersson and smoothed the path to eventually approve the country’s entry into the alliance.

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