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Hungarian PM invites Swedish PM to Budapest to discuss Nato

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected]
Hungarian PM invites Swedish PM to Budapest to discuss Nato
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has previously said his country 'won't be the last' to approve Sweden's Nato application. Photo: AP Photo/Denes Erdos

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has sent a letter to Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson inviting him to Hungary to discuss Sweden’s Nato membership.

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“Today I sent an invitation letter to Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson for a visit to Hungary to negotiate on Sweden’s Nato accession,” Orbán wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Hungary has previously attempted to invite Swedish representatives to Budapest to no avail.

At the same time, Hungary’s opposition Social Democratic Party has called for an immediate extra parliamentary session to vote on Sweden’s Nato accession, according to Hungarian news site 24.

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However, it is Orbán’s ruling party, Fidesz, which will have the final say.

“If Orbán doesn’t want to, there will be no extra session,” MP Ágnes Vadai from the Democratic Coalition opposition party told TT newswire.

“But of course, my party supports [the extra session].”

An extra session would have to be approved by the parliament's preparatory committee, where the opposition do not have enough seats to win a vote. Fidesz has a majority in parliament and can therefore decide the agenda.

The opposition has called for a vote on Sweden's Nato application for over a year while parliament has been in session, but without Fidesz's backing it cannot be approved.

Hungary, alongside Turkey, is the only Nato member which has not yet approved Sweden's accession application. Orbán has previously stated that Hungary will not be the last country to approve Sweden's application, without giving more details as to when it plans to do so.

Last week, the Hungarian government signalled that an approval may be delayed. A source close to Orbán told news agency Reuters that Sweden "did not seem to be prioritising Nato membership," adding that the country had not done enough to build confidence in it's suitability for membership.

On Tuesday, Sweden may move one step closer to Nato membership, as its application for membership is expected to be put to a vote in the Turkish parliament. The vote will be preceded by a debate in parliament, and depending on how long the debate lasts it may take place late on Tuesday evening, or even on Wednesday. It may also take place later in the week - a source told news agency AFP that it may be put to the vote on Thursday.

This will not be the final step, however. After the vote in the Turkish parliament, the application would still need to be approved by Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Following this, Turkey would need to send the ratification document to the USA, while Sweden would need to send its accession document before the process - as far as Turkey is concerned, at least - is complete.

It remains to be seen whether this will occur before or after Hungary approves Sweden's application.

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Anonymous 2024/01/23 15:26
The prime minister should not attend,it will be a humiliation ritual for swedes

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