Turkey’s Parliamentary Committee Approves Sweden’s NATO Membership

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The Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs committee on Tuesday, December 26, approved Sweden’s accession to NATO after a 19-month standoff.

The decision to approve Sweden’s NATO membership bid is a key step towards enlarging the military alliance after 19 months of delays in which Ankara, the capital of Turkey, demanded security-related concessions from Stockholm.

It also comes after Swedish proposal approval was postponed for a year by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, who claimed Sweden was too close to Kurdish activists, whom Ankara views as terrorists.

However, it is the same commission, controlled by President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), that voted to back the bid made by Sweden last year after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The general assembly of the Turkish parliament now needs to give its final green light before Sweden can officially become a full NATO member. However, no date for this plenary vote has been set.

The next step is a vote by the full parliament, in which the AK Party and its allies hold a majority. Sweden’s NATO membership is expected to pass, and then the measure would go to Erdogan. If he signs it into law, he would conclude a process that has taken nearly two years and frustrated some of Ankara’s allies in the West.

“The steps that Swedish authorities have taken until today and their pledges are pleasing, as we discussed in our previous meeting,” the chair of the Fuat Oktay Foreign Affairs Commission stated. “We invited Sweden’s Ankara ambassador to receive information about this issue (steps against terrorism).”

The ambassador of Sweden stated that her nation is committed to fulfilling the commitments it made as part of the trilateral agreement and that close collaboration with Sweden will continue even after it joins NATO.

She also mentioned the important work they were doing, starting with stopping the funding of terrorism and preventing support for terrorist groups.

A member of the Turkish Republican People’s Party named Orguz Kaan Saalici stated that they informed us about the actions taken by Sweden as well as Turkey’s foreign policy priorities. They also openly mentioned the discussions between President Tayyip Erdogan and President Joe Biden that followed a lengthy deliberation process before being voted on and approved.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was created in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations as an intergovernmental military alliance between 31 member states—29 European and two North American.

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