Turkey agrees to start the process for Finland’s NATO bid

Turkey agrees to start the process for Finland’s NATO bid

Ankara [Turkey]March 18 (ANI): Turkey approved the process to ratify Finland’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, according to Anadolu Agency.

According to Anadolu Agency, at a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto in Ankara, President Erdogan noted that Finland has fulfilled all its security concerns.

At the press conference, Erdogan said: “We have decided to start the approval process for Finland’s NATO membership protocol in our parliament.” Referring to the negotiations on Sweden and Finland’s accession bid at the NATO summit in Madrid in June 2022, Erdogan said Turkiye is among the strong defenders of NATO’s open-door policy.

The president further stated that Turkey has seen that Finland has taken concrete steps to fulfill its commitments in the tripartite memorandum signed at the Madrid summit last June, according to Anadolu Agency.

“NATO will become stronger with Finland’s membership, and I believe it will play an active role in maintaining global security and stability,” Erdogan added.

He further emphasized that relations between Turkey and Finland will be strengthened on the basis of the NATO alliance after the approval process is completed.

Regarding Sweden’s process, Erdogan said that Turkey will continue its conversation based on the alliance’s principles and our approach to the fight against terrorism.

“I think our country’s principles and good will in promoting the (NATO accession) process are now more clearly visible,” he added.

In the past, Sweden and Finland have jointly applied to join NATO, but Turkey has so far blocked the expansion, citing concerns that Sweden would have to crack down on exiled Kurdish militants and their sympathizers and extradite critics of Turkish President Erdogan, Euronews reported.

In one of the meetings, Ankara gave a list of 120 people to Sweden for extradition to Turkey, President Erdogan said “You have to extradite these terrorists so you can enter NATO,” according to Anadolu Agency.

Sweden and Finland’s joint bid to join NATO requires the approval of all existing members, including Turkey.

So far, the two countries have committed to joining the alliance, but Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto’s earlier comments suggest that may no longer be the case. (ANI)

Source: sn.dk

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