After Erdogan sends the accession protocol to the Turkish parliament, Sweden is closer to joining NATO.
Following the president of Turkey's sending of accession protocols to parliament, Sweden moved one step closer to joining NATO on Monday.
Both Sweden and Finland sought membership in NATO as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but Sweden's application had been blocked by Turkey.
After months of delays, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan approved the accession protocols, but it is not yet clear how long the procedure will take.
Erdogan's proposal must pass a parliamentary committee before being made available for a general vote on the assembly's main floor, where the Turkish president and his allies possess the majority required to ratify Sweden's application.
Along with Sweden, Finland submitted an application for membership in May 2022. Finland joined NATO in April 2023.
Erdogan charged Sweden with harboring individuals connected to a 2016 Turkish coup attempt and being overly tolerant of militant groups, most notably the PKK.
Swedish officials have also been charged by Turkish authorities with participating in anti-Islamic demonstrations like the burning of the Quran.
Sweden has tightened its anti-terror laws since submitting its membership application, and it has agreed to collaborate more closely with Turkey on its security concerns.
Erdogan agreed to submit the ratification of the accession protocols to Turkey's parliament in July, according to NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, who did not provide a timeline. Erdogan's announcement was a stunning about-face from his earlier assertion that Sweden could only join the alliance after Turkey was admitted to the EU.
The news that Erdogan had signed and delivered Sweden's NATO accession protocols to the Turkish parliament on Monday was warmly received by the United States.
State Department spokesman Matt Miller stated that "obviously we have been calling for ratification of Sweden accession for some time."
He said at a department briefing, "We look forward to that bill being considered in the Turkish parliament and passed as quickly as possible.
Erdogan's actions are a positive step for Sweden's NATO aspirations, but they do not guarantee that Sweden will be the next country to join the organization.
The membership of Sweden has not been approved by Hungary either. According to Reuters, the prime minister of Hungary stated in September that the nation was not in a rush to accept Sweden's bid.