In the next key step in Sweden’s bid to join NATO, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has forwarded the Nordic nation’s accession protocol to the Turkish parliament.
It was a much-awaited follow-up to an agreement signed between Erdogan, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in July.
As part of the deal, Erdogan had assured that he will work closely with Turkey’s Grand National Assembly to ensure ratification of Sweden’s NATO accession protocol.
Both Sweden and Turkey agreed to continue their counter-terrorism cooperation beyond Sweden’s accession to NATO.
The two countries also agreed to step up economic cooperation, through the Turkey-Sweden Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO).
The accession protocol must go through a parliamentary commission before being put to vote in the Grand National Assembly. Erdogan’s ruling party and its allies have the majority to vote in favor of the accession protocol and ratify Sweden’s bid to join the defense alliance.
The North Atlantic Council’s approval of the applications for NATO membership requires ratification by the parliaments of all the countries of the 31-member bloc.
Hungary and Turkey remain the only NATO member states that have not yet ratified the instrument of ratification of Sweden’s Accession Protocol.
Both Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership in May 2022, and the former became the 31st member of the western military alliance on 2023 April 4 through the fastest ratification process in its modern history.
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