REPORT: Turkish Parliament Ratifies Sweden’s Application To Join NATO, Leaving Hungary As Only Holdout

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Mariane Angela Contributor
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Turkish lawmakers approved Sweden’s entry into North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Tuesday, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

The Turkish Parliament voted in favor of Sweden’s NATO accession with a decisive 287-55 vote and four abstentions, according to The AP. Following its imminent publication in the Official Gazette, the ratification will be formalized. With Turkey’s approval, Hungary remains the sole NATO member yet to ratify Sweden’s membership, the outlet reported.

The approval comes after Turkey’s prolonged hesitation, spanning over a year. The hesitation stemmed from allegations of Sweden’s lenient attitude towards groups Turkey deems as security threats, The AP noted. Ankara’s demands from Stockholm reportedly included a firmer approach to Kurdish militants and individuals linked to a group responsible for a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

Sweden’s journey to NATO membership faced further complications due to Kurdistan Workers’ Party supporter protests and Quran-burning demonstrations in the country, which sparked outrage in several Muslim nations, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Biden Says Ukraine Is Not Ready For NATO)

Turkey’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee initially greenlit Sweden’s application last month, following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s motion to the legislators, according to the outlet. Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akcapar highlighted Sweden’s compliance with Turkish demands, including amendments in anti-terrorism laws and the lifting of restrictions on defense industry sales, as key factors in favoring Sweden’s NATO bid.

Sweden committed to bolstering counterterrorism cooperation with Turkey and supporting Ankara’s aspirations to revive its EU membership bid. Despite broad support for Sweden’s NATO entry, some Turkish opposition, notably the Good Party and the pro-Kurdish party, expressed reservations, The AP stated. Lawmakers from the Good Party raised concerns about Sweden’s anti-terrorism measures and extradition policies, which they deemed insufficient, the AP reported.