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    Turkey’s Parliament Approves Sweden’s NATO Membership, Lifting a Key Hurdle

    Turkey's Parliament Approves Sweden's NATO Membership, Lifting a Key Hurdle

    ANKARA, — Turkish legislators on Tuesday endorsed 's membership in , lifting a major hurdle on the previously nonaligned country's entry into the alliance.

    The legislators ratified Sweden's accession protocol by 287 votes to 55, with four abstentions. The ratification will come into effect after its publication in the Official Gazette, which is expected to be swift.

    Hungary then becomes the only NATO ally not to have ratified Sweden's accession.

    NATO-member Turkey had been delaying Sweden's membership for more than a year, accusing the country of being too lenient toward groups that Ankara regards as security threats. It has been seeking concessions from Stockholm, including a tougher stance toward Kurdish militants militants and members of a network that Ankara blames for a failed coup in 2016.

    Turkey had also been angered by a series of demonstrations by supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party in Sweden as well as Quran-burning protests that roiled Muslim countries.

    Last month, parliament's foreign affairs committee gave its consent to Sweden's bid in the first stage of the legislative process, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent its accession protocol to lawmakers for approval.

    Arguing in favor of Sweden's membership last month, Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akcapar cited steps Sweden had taken to meet Turkish demands, including lifting…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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