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Turkey's parliamentary committee approves Sweden’s NATO bid, paving way for full vote

After passing an initial hurdle, the Nordic nation’s accession to NATO will now be debated and voted on by the full Turkish Parliament.

ANKARA — The Turkish Parliament's Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved Sweden’s accession to NATO, a prerequisite for the issue to be considered by a full parliamentary vote. 

The accession protocol will be voted on by the full parliament once Parliament Speaker Numan Kurtulmus schedules a debate on the matter, though at the time of this writing, no timeframe has been set. 

This development comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, having previously denied any link between the two issues, said last week that his country was seeking simultaneous progress on NATO expansion and Turkey’s request to purchase 40 F-16 fighter jets and roughly 50 modernization kits from the United States.  

After being excluded in 2019 from a consortium that produces new-generation F-35 fighter jets due to its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense system, Ankara had sought to spend $20 billion to upgrade its military aircraft. While the Biden administration publicly endorsed the sale earlier this year, the State Department has yet to submit formal notification to Congress for its review.

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