Turkey To Support Finland Nato Membership, Says President Erdogan

Turkey To Support Finland Nato Membership, Says President Erdogan- After months of negotiations, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Finland’s membership in NATO on Friday, but he emphasized that talks with Sweden will go on.

Erdogan told his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto in Ankara that “we have decided to commence the approval of Finland’s admission procedure to NATO in our parliament,” according to a translation by Reuters.

Before the nation’s elections on May 14th, Erdogan said that he hoped the Turkish parliament will support Finland’s request.

Finland and Sweden submitted membership bids to the military alliance in May. Once Russia invaded Ukraine, they made the decision to abandon their neutrality and military non-alignment policy.

But, the application process for NATO membership has not gone as smoothly as some had anticipated, particularly because Ankara has demanded stronger security guarantees from Sweden.

Turkey To Support Finland Nato Membership, Says President Erdogan

Finland can join NATO in the next month thanks to Hungary’s support of Friday’s statement. Out of the 30 NATO countries, Hungary is the only one that has not yet given its approval for Helsinki to join. However, the ruling party in Hungary announced on Friday that it would support Finland in a vote on March 27.

The events of Friday put Stockholm a little bit behind the curve.

The main reason for Turkey’s objection to Sweden joining NATO is what it claims is their harboring of militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Far-right protesters burnt a Quran and shouted anti-Muslim chants in front of the Turkish consulate in Stockholm, Sweden, in January. Ankara promptly criticized the action as well as Sweden’s approval of the right-wing group’s request for permission to stage the protest.

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Sweden, Finland, and Turkey struck a deal detailing a road to a compromise for a NATO meeting in Madrid in June 2022, with Ankara requesting further anti-terrorism guarantees. Tobias Billström, Sweden’s minister of foreign affairs, said in a February interview that his nation has done its share to uphold the deal.

It’s only a question of time, he added, adding that he anticipates his country becoming a full member by July.

Alexander Stubb, a former Finnish prime minister, downplayed worries that Sweden might fall behind.

“At the latest during the July meeting, both Finland and Sweden will join NATO. The environment is steady. We are already members in practice,” he wrote on Twitter.

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