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Türkiye delays again ratification of Sweden's NATO accession

Türkiye delays again ratification of Sweden's NATO accession Photo:Erdoğan delays Sweden's accession to NATO (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Türkiye has told NATO that ratification of Sweden's membership application will not be completed in time to allow for an accession ceremony at the alliance's foreign ministers meeting next week, Reuters reports.

Last week, the Turkish parliament's foreign affairs committee postponed a vote on Sweden's NATO membership bid to hold further talks on the matter.

The commission is likely to resume discussions on the issue on Tuesday or Wednesday, one of the sources said. These days, November 28-29, NATO foreign ministers will meet in Brussels. The meeting, which some representatives of the western defense bloc hoped would mark Sweden's accession.

Ratification delay

Both Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO last May following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

At the time, President Tayyip Erdoğan objected to both requests. In April, Türkiye supported Finland's proposal but made it wait.

Türkiye has demanded that Sweden take additional steps against local members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (KWP), which the European Union and the United States consider a terrorist group.

In response, Stockholm submitted an anti-terrorism bill that would make membership in a terrorist organization illegal and lift restrictions on arms exports toTürkiye. Sweden says it has fulfilled its part of the agreement signed last year.

To be ratified, the bill must be approved by the Türkiye's foreign affairs commission before being put to a full parliamentary vote, which could take days or weeks. Erdoğan will then sign the law, ending a process whose length has upset Ankara's allies and has become a test of its ties with the West.

Although NATO member Hungary has also not ratified Sweden's membership, Türkiye is seen as a major obstacle to Sweden's accession.