Sweden's NATO accession: Turkish parliamentary committee approves, parliamentary vote required
Leaders of Turkey, Sweden, Finland and NATO (Photo - NATO)

The Turkish parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee has recommended that the parliament approve Sweden's accession to NATO, Anadolu Agency reports.

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The decision of the parliamentary committee is a mandatory step for putting the issue to the vote of the deputies, but it does not guarantee that the parliament will ratify Sweden's application to join the Alliance, writes Politico.

The publication also notes that the date of the vote on this issue in the Turkish parliament has not yet been set.

On December 18, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey's ratification of Sweden's accession to NATO depends on the US Congress approving Ankara's request to purchase F-16 fighter jets, and called on both legislative bodies to act "simultaneously."

Ankara requested F-16 fighter jets from the United States in October 2021. The $6 billion deal included the sale of 40 aircraft, as well as kits to modernize 79 combat aircraft already in service with the Turkish Air Force. However, the U.S. Congress made the possibility of such a deal subject to a number of requirements, including Ankara's approval of Sweden's application to join NATO.

For any state to join NATO, unanimous approval of all NATO member states is required. Only Turkey and Hungary have not yet ratified Sweden's application.

On December 6, Sweden and the United States signed a defense cooperation agreement that creates conditions for strengthening Sweden's military capabilities even if it fails to become a NATO member.

On June 28, 2022, NATO invited Sweden and Finland to join the Alliance. On April 4, 2023, Finland joined NATO.

On September 17, Erdoğan said that Sweden "did not fulfill its promises to Turkey" and therefore would not receive Turkey's support for joining NATO.

On October 23, Erdoğan signed a protocol on Sweden's accession to NATO and submitted it to the Turkish parliament.