Turkish parliament debates Sweden’s NATO bid


Orban and Erdogan have maintained a good rapport with Russian President Vladimir Putin throughout the Ukraine war.

NATO leaders had feared that the Kremlin was trying to use Orban and Erdogan to seed divisions in the West.

The bloc’s commanders have cast the latest round of expansion as a show of Western resolve in the face of Russian aggression.

Erdogan’s objections to Sweden’s bid initially focused on Stockholm’s perceived acceptance of Kurdish groups that Ankara views as “terrorist”.

Sweden responded by tightening its anti-terrorism legislation and tacking other security steps demanded by Erdogan.

But Erdogan then turned his gaze on unmet US pledges to deliver a batch of F-16 fighter jets that has met resistance in congress because of Türkiye’s perceived backsliding on human rights and standoffs with fellow NATO member Greece.

Türkiye also wants Canada to follow through on its promise to lift a ban on the sale of a key component used for making combat drones.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Türkiye over two visits in the past three months that it could help break congressional resistance to the F-16 sale by finally backing Sweden’s candidacy.

“We have not parsed words about how ready we are for Sweden to formally join the alliance,” deputy State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said after news emerged Monday that Türkiye was on the verge of finally voting on Sweden’s candidacy.

“We have long felt that (Sweden) has met its commitment and we look forward to this process moving forward.”

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