STOCKHOLM (AP) — On the brink of joining NATO, Sweden has signed a defense cooperation agreement with Washington that will allow the United States access to all of the military bases across the Scandinavian country, saying the deal would bolster regional security. The deal was signed at the Pentagon Tuesday by Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Turkey and Hungary are the only NATO countries that have not formally approved Sweden’s accession bid. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan linked Wednesday Swden’s ratification to the approval by the U.S. Congress of Turkey’s request to purchase 40 F-16 fighter jets and kits to modernize its existing fleet.
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