Turkey’s president says he will ratify Finland’s NATO bid

Turkey's president says he will ratify Finland's NATO bid

ANKARA, March 17 (Xinhua) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed Friday to ask parliament to vote on Finland’s NATO membership, but delayed Sweden’s, citing measures by Finland to address Turkey’s security concerns.

“We have observed concrete and sincere steps from Finland recently. As a result of Finland’s sensitivity to our legitimate security concerns, we have decided to start the approval process” in parliament, Erdogan said at a press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

He emphasized that he believes NATO will further strengthen and play a decisive role in global security with Finland’s accession.

Erdogan, meanwhile, said Turkey still expected Sweden to hand over 120 members of what Turkey calls terrorist groups, before his country approaches the Swedish membership application “positively”.

Finnish President Niinisto, for his part, welcomed Turkey’s decision as “a significant move for the entire people of Finland”, but hinted that Finland would only join the military bloc together with Sweden.

“Because we have common security interests. We have borders in the Baltic Sea. I hope we will be a 32-member alliance at the summit in Vilnius,” he said, referring to the planned NATO summit in July.

Sweden and Finland submitted their formal requests to join NATO in May 2022, which was initially protested by Türkiye, a NATO member, citing their support for anti-Turkish Kurdish organizations and political dissidents.

A month later, Turkey lifted its objections after reaching an agreement with Sweden and Finland in Madrid.

Source: sn.dk


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