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Turkish parliament resumes debate Tuesday on Sweden NATO bid

The Turkish parliament will on Tuesday resume debate on approving Sweden’s request to join NATO, which has been on hold since May last year. Sweden and Finland dropped decades of military non-alignment and sought the nuclear protection afforded by the US-led defence organisation in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. Their bids won fast-track approval from all NATO members except Turkey and Hungary. The two ultimately relented and accepted Finland into the bloc this year. The Turkish parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission last month failed to reach agreement on a text for a full floor vote and will meet again on Tuesday afternoon, a member of the opposition told AFP. After blocking Sweden’s accession for 17 months, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan finally relented in late October, saying the matter was up to parliament. Erdogan has linked Sweden’s membership to the US Congress simultaneously agreeing to sell F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. The US government does not oppose the sale, but lawmakers have blocked it over concerns about Turkey’s alleged violations of human rights and its tensions with Greece. Turkey and Hungary are the last of the 31 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to block Stockholm’s entry. Erdogan lifted his veto in July following months of pressure on Swedish authorities, whom he accused of hosting Turkish and Kurdish exiles he considers to be “terrorists.”

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