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Hungary Likely to Back Sweden’s NATO Bid in Autumn

Hungary could ratify Sweden’s bid to join NATO in the autumn, with a ruling party lawmaker saying Thursday that Türkiye’s decision to back the Nordic country’s bid opened the door to strengthening the alliance at a time of need.

Hungarian lawmaker Zsolt Nemeth said there was no need to convene an extraordinary session of Parliament sooner to approve the decision as Turkish approval would come later.

Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban has delayed ratification but his foreign minister earlier this month said that Budapest would not delay the process if Türkiye dropped its opposition, which it did on Monday.

“We will take up work in mid-September,” Nemeth, the head of the Hungarian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, told private broadcaster InfoRadio.

There is no need to move sooner as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will not forward the ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership to the Turkish Parliament until it reopens in the autumn, he said.

Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership last year in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, abandoning policies of military non-alignment that had lasted through the decades of the Cold War.

Ankara held out on the ratification for months, accusing Sweden of doing too little against terrorist organizations such as the PKK, and its affiliates, and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye.

Hungary’s ratification process has been stranded in Parliament since last July, with Orban airing concerns about the Nordic countries’ NATO membership. Hungarian lawmakers approved Finland’s bid in late March.

Source : Daily Sabah