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Sweden's NATO bid: Hungary joins Turkey in lifting veto

FILE - A security guard walks in front of a banner outside the venue of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, July 9, 2023.
FILE - A security guard walks in front of a banner outside the venue of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, July 9, 2023. Copyright Mindaugas Kulbis/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Mindaugas Kulbis/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AFP
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"Our position is clear: the government supports Stockholm's accession to the Atlantic Alliance", Hungary's Foreign Minister said on Tuesday.

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One day after Turkey announced it was ready to ratify Sweden's NATO accession, Hungary signalled on Tuesday it is also willing to green-light its bid. 

"Our position is clear: the government supports Stockholm's accession to the Atlantic Alliance," said Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on his Facebook account before leaving for the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

"Completing the ratification process is now just a technical matter."

The move clears the path for Sweden to become the 32nd member of the US-led military alliance. 

Hungary's parliament wrapped up its extraordinary summer session on Friday but could reconvene in the next few days to vote.

Last week, nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban expressed his "support" for Sweden's application, promising "no prevarication" if Ankara changed its position. 

Turkey agreed on Monday to send Sweden's accession protocol to the Turkish Parliament "as soon as possible" - a move welcomed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on the eve of the Vilnius summit.

The Hungarian government previously justified blocking Sweden's bid by repeatedly denouncing Stockholm's policy of "denigration", accusing it of criticising Budapest for failing to uphold the rule of law and "using its political influence" in Brussels "to harm Hungarian interests".

Orban has alleged that Swedish politicians have told “blatant lies” about the condition of  Hungary's democracy, which he said left some lawmakers unsure of whether to support the accession bid. 

In the case of Finland's NATO accession, Hungary was also slow in giving the green light, waiting until just after Ankara approved the bid at the end of March.

Sweden and Finland announced their application to join NATO in May 2022, in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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