Hungary to vote on Swedish NATO bid on Monday: ruling party

Hungary, the last holdout on Sweden's bid to join NATO, will vote on the issue on Monday, a senior official with the Fidesz ruling party said.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson will meet Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban on Friday ahead of the key parliamentary vote.

His talks with Orban in Budapest will include "defence and security policy cooperation between Hungary and Sweden," the Swedish government said in a statement on Tuesday.

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Sweden applied to join the U.S.-led Western military alliance in May 2022, at the same time as Finland.

Although it supports Stockholm in principle, Budapest prolonged the process by asking Sweden to stop "vilifying" Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government, which critics accuse of authoritarianism.

Mate Kocsis, Fidesz parliamentary group leader, said on Tuesday that parliament's "session of 26 February 2024 shall include on its agenda the final vote... on the proclamation of the Protocol of Accession of the Kingdom of Sweden to the North Atlantic Treaty, which our parliamentary group intends to support."

Finland became the 31st member of the US-led military alliance in April.

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