Parliamentary panel to start discussions on Sweden’s NATO bid

A parliamentary panel will start deliberations on Sweden's accession to NATO on Nov. 16, the Turkish media has reported.

The accession protocol of Sweden to the alliance was submitted to the parliament by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in late October. Parliament Speaker Numan Kurtulmuş then dispatched it to the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee to discuss the content and vote for it.

Led by the head of the committee, Ankara MP Fuat Oktay, the members of the panel will discuss the Nordic state's application to enter the alliance on Nov. 16. After the approval at the committee, the accession protocol will later be submitted to the General Assembly for a vote.

Simple majority of the 600 lawmakers will suffice for the ratification of the protocol.

Sweden and Finland decided to apply to join the alliance in mid-2022 following Russia's occupation of Ukraine. Given the fact that anti-Türkiye terror organizations, including the PKK and FETÖ, are quite active on the territories of these two countries, Türkiye signed a trilateral memorandum with Sweden and Finland to deepen anti-terror cooperation in late June 2022 before it can approve their admission to the alliance.

Türkiye approved Finland's bid in late March 2023 after the applicant country fulfilled its obligations. The process with Sweden went sour as the Swedish authorities allowed anti-Quran and anti-Türkiye protests in the streets of Stockholm.

Stockholm amended its anti-terror law and lifted restrictions on arms sales to Türkiye in mid-June 2023 which paved the way for an agreement between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in July 2023 on the margins of the NATO Summit in Lithuania.

In line with the deal, Erdoğan...

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