JUST IN - Turkey's foreign affairs committee approves Sweden's NATO bid, paving the way for a vote in the assembly.

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A key committee in the Turkish parliament on Tuesday gave the green light for Sweden's NATO membership, clearing another hurdle in the Nordic country's accession process in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year.

Sweden's NATO bid had been stalled for months amid opposition from Turkey and Hungary and recently it was further complicated after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan linked it to Ankara's request for F-16 fighter jets from its ally the United States.

Sweden and Finland dropped decades of military non-alignment and sought to join the US-led defence organisation after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

On Tuesday, the Turkish parliament's foreign affairs committee approved the measure.

"The protocol (on Sweden's NATO accession) passed the committee," opposition CHP party lawmaker Utku Cakirozer, a member of the foreign affairs committee, told AFP after the vote.

The move paves the way for a vote by the full parliament, where Erdogan's ruling alliance holds the majority of seats. It was not immediately clear when it would be.

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