Turkish parliament commission set to study Swedish NATO bid


Ankara (Reuters) – The speaker of Turkey’s parliament will send a bill approving Sweden’s NATO membership bid to parliament’s foreign affairs commission on Wednesday, a source from the assembly said on Tuesday.

President Tayyip Erdogan submitted the ratification bill for Sweden’s NATO membership bid to parliament on Monday, a move welcomed by Stockholm as it clears the way for it to join the Western defence alliance.

The bill must now be approved by the foreign affairs commission before parliament’s general assembly formally ratifies it, Erdogan signs it into law and it is published in the Official Gazette, completing the process.

Numan Kurtulmus, the speaker of parliament, said he would send the bill to parliament’s foreign affairs commission after returning to Turkey from a visit to Prague, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Tuesday.

“I hope it (the bill) will come to the parliament’s general assembly as soon as possible and the lawmakers will make their decision,” Kurtulmus was quoted as saying.

There is no specific timeframe set for the commission to ratify Sweden’s NATO membership. The commission chair decides when it discusses the bill.

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO last year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Finland’s membership was sealed in April, in a historic expansion of the alliance, but Sweden’s bid had been held up by Turkey and Hungary.

The Hungarian parliament will make a “sovereign decision” regarding the ratification of Sweden’s NATO bid, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday after a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan.

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