Turkish parliamentary committee approves Sweden's NATO bid

Türkiye
Wed, 27 Dec 2023 8:19 GMT
Following key committee vote on Sweden joining military alliance, measure next goes to general assembly for final vote.
Turkish parliamentary committee approves Sweden's NATO bid

Legislation greenlighting Sweden's accession to NATO was approved on Tuesday by the Turkish parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, leaving only a vote in the general assembly to grant or deny Türkiye’s full approval. 

Before the pivotal vote, Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akcapar briefed the committee on Sweden's NATO membership process, and lawmakers weighed in on the proposal.

In October, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed Sweden's NATO accession protocol and submitted it to parliament.

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom hailed the news, saying on X: "We welcome the approval of Sweden's NATO membership application in the Foreign Affairs Committee in Türkiye. The next step will be the Parliament voting on this matter. We eagerly look forward to becoming a NATO member."

Finland and Sweden – both Nordic countries close to or bordering Russia – applied for NATO membership soon after Russia launched its war on Ukraine in February 2022.

Türkiye approved Finland's membership in the alliance this March but said it was waiting for Sweden to abide by a June 2022 trilateral memorandum to address Ankara's security concerns.

Any new members of NATO must be approved by all current members, including Türkiye, a member of the alliance for over 70 years which boasts its second-largest army.

Hungary is the only member of NATO besides Türkiye that has not yet approved Sweden’s bid to join the alliance.

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