Turkiye president Erodgan ratifies Finland`s NATO application

Turkiye president Erodgan ratifies Finland`s NATO application

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan turkeys Said on Friday that his government would proceed with ratifying Finland’s NATO application, paving the way for the country to join the military bloc ahead of Sweden.

The breakthrough came when Finnish President Sauli Niinisto was in Ankara to meet Erdogan.

Both Finland And Sweden applied to become a NATO member 10 months ago in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, abandoning decades of non-alignment.

NATO needs unanimous approval to expand from its 30 current members, and Turkey and Hungary are the only countries that have yet to ratify the Nordic nation’s bids.

The Turkish government accused both Sweden and Finland of being too soft on groups it considers terrorist organizations, but expressed more reservations about Sweden.

“When it comes to fulfilling its pledges in the trilateral memorandum of understanding, we have seen that Finland has taken authentic and concrete steps,” Erdogan said at a press conference in Ankara after his meeting with Niinisto.

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“Based on this sensitivity to our country’s security and the progress made in the Protocol for Finland’s Accession to NATO, we have decided to start the ratification process in our Parliament,” the President said.

With Erdogan’s agreement, Finland’s application can now go to Turkey’s parliament, where the president’s party and its allies have a majority. Confirmation is expected ahead of Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14.

Erdogan suggested on Wednesday that his country might consider annexing Finland after Niinisto’s visit.

Turkey, Finland and Sweden signed an agreement in June last year to resolve differences over the membership of the Nordic states.

The document included sections addressing Ankara’s claims that Stockholm and Helsinki did not take seriously its concerns with those they consider terrorists, particularly supporters of Kurdish militants who have led a 39-year insurgency in Turkey. and people link Ankara to the 2016 coup attempt. ,

A series of separate demonstrations in Stockholm, including a protest against an anti-Islam activist who burned a Quran outside the Turkish embassy, ​​also angered Turkish officials.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and lawmakers have repeatedly promised to ratify the two countries’ NATO membership applications.

But the country’s parliament has repeatedly postponed the ratification vote and has not given a firm date for when the vote will take place.

Erdogan suggested on Wednesday that his country could soon agree to Finland’s application to join NATO.

Turkish officials had previously said that Finland joining ahead of Sweden was a more likely outcome.

Niinisto arrived in Turkey on Thursday and visited areas affected by last month’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Turkey and Syria, which killed more than 52,000 people.

“I have known Erdogan for a long time. I’m sure they have important messages,” Niinisto said on Thursday while visiting Kahramanmaras, one of the provinces worst hit by the February 6 earthquake.

Before leaving Helsinki, Niinisto said that Turkish officials had requested his presence in Ankara to announce Turkey’s decision on the Finnish bid.

He stressed his support for Sweden’s rapid entry and said in a Twitter post that he had a “good conversation” with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Christerson ahead of his visit to Turkey.

Christerson said Sweden hoped for a “swift ratification process” after Turkey’s May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections.

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