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Turkey Foreign Aff. Chair-Will Discuss Sweden Accession 'When Time Comes'


Wires carrying comments from the chair of the Turkish Grand National Assembly's Foreign Affairs Committee stating that "What is urgent for others would not be urgent for Turkey, we will discuss Sweden's NATO ratification when the time comes." The comments come after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan submitted a bill to the GNA last week to ratify Sweden's NATO accession.

  • Even if the Foreign Affairs Committee approves the ratification, it still requires a vote of the full GNA. Al-Monitor highlights the potential difficulties here: "The process is littered with challenges, [...] One of them involves Ankara’s request before the US Congress to purchase new F-16 fighter jets [...]. Although Turkey applied for the F-16s in late 2021 — before Russia's invasion of Ukraine changed Sweden’s stance on NATO — Congress and the Biden administration tied the sale of the airplanes to Ankara’s ratification of the Swedish bid in May 2022. The Turkish side would likely seek a firm commitment from Washington regarding the F-16s before it ratifies Sweden's NATO accession."
  • There is also the major regional focus on the Israel-Hamas war. Criticising Israel's bombardment of Gaza has gained Erdogan support among the nationalist voter base of his AKP, but risks alienating Ankara from largely pro-Israeli Western capitals. Erdogan and the Turkish gov't will have to tread a fine line on the issue, but holding up Sweden's accession could antagonise NATO partners further.

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