The Turkish Parliament approved Sweden’s application for NATO membership. The act on consent to Sweden’s accession to NATO will still have to be signed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The debate on the motion in the 600-seat parliament lasted four hours. The ruling AK party, its nationalist ally MHP and the main opposition party CHP were in favor of ratification. Opposition nationalist, Islamist and leftist parties voted against Sweden’s entry into the Alliance.
Satisfaction in Sweden after the decision of the Turkish parliament
“Today we are one step closer to remaining a full member of NATO,” wrote Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on Platform X. “It is positive that the Grand General Assembly in Turkey voted for Sweden to join NATO,” he added.
The head of Swedish diplomacy, Tobias Billstroem, said that “we hope that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will sign the ratification document as soon as possible.” – There is no reason to delay this, he noted.
When asked about the missing decision from the Hungarian parliament, Billstroem repeated that Sweden had previously received assurances from the country’s authorities that it would not block this process.
On Tuesday, Swedish media published an official letter from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to Prime Minister Kristersson with an invitation to visit Budapest. The document talks about “exchanging views on all common interests.” Billstroem stated that “there is no reason to negotiate (with the Hungarian authorities regarding the conditions of Sweden’s entry into NATO).”
Sweden is waiting for Erdogan’s signature and Hungary’s consent
The act on consent to Sweden’s accession to NATO will still have to be signed by the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Currently, the only country that has not yet agreed to Sweden joining NATO is Hungary.
I expect that Hungary will also complete ratification of the Swedish application as soon as possible, commented the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“All NATO countries agreed in Vilnius (summit on July 11-12, 2023) to invite Sweden to the North Atlantic Alliance, and Sweden has fulfilled its obligations,” Stoltenberg emphasized in a statement. “Sweden’s membership makes NATO stronger and all of us safer,” he added.
Main photo source: NECATI SAVAS/PAP/EPA