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Turkish commission to meet next week to discuss Swedish NATO bid

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The Turkish parliament's foreign affairs commission will sit down again on Tuesday to consider Sweden's NATO membership bid, parliament's website showed on Friday, a first step necessary for ratification.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan submitted the bill for ratification of Sweden's NATO membership bid to parliament in October © Mena Today 

The Turkish parliament's foreign affairs commission will sit down again on Tuesday to consider Sweden's NATO membership bid, parliament's website showed on Friday, a first step necessary for ratification.

Sweden and Finland asked to join NATO last year after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But NATO member Turkey raised objections over what it said was the two countries' protection of groups that Ankara deems terrorists.

Turkey endorsed Finland's membership bid in April but, along with Hungary, it has kept Sweden waiting.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan submitted the bill for ratification of Sweden's NATO membership bid to parliament in October and parliament's foreign affairs commission started to debate it on Nov. 16, but postponed further discussion.

For ratification, the bill needs to be approved by the foreign affairs commission before being put to a full parliament vote. Erdogan would then sign it into law to conclude the process.

On Tuesday, Erdogan was quoted as saying that Sweden's NATO membership bid and United States' F-16 fighter jet sale to Turkey "are linked", and that President Joe Biden had promised to get Congress to secure the F-16 sale if Turkey ratifies Sweden's NATO bid.

Turkey asked in October 2021 to buy 40 Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighters and 79 modernisation kits for its existing warplanes.

Biden's administration backs the $20 billion sale, but there have been objections in the Congress over Turkey delaying Sweden's NATO entry and concerns over its human rights record.

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Huseyin Hayatsever; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Huseyin Hayatsever; Editing by Nick Macfie

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