Erdogan gives green light to Finland joining NATO

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday gave the green light to Finland’s entry into NATO by submitting the ratification of Finland’s application for membership to the Turkish parliament, a decision that was immediately welcomed by the Atlantic Alliance. “We have decided to start the process of Finland’s accession to NATO in our parliament,” he said after meeting in Ankara with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. “The most important thing is that Finland and Sweden quickly become full members of NATO, not that they join at exactly the same time,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement shortly after welcoming Mr. Erdogan’s announcement. The green light from the Turkish president further paves the way for the entry of this Scandinavian country into the Atlantic Alliance, where 28 out of 30 NATO member countries have already approved Finland’s candidacy. Hungary must also ratify the Finnish and Swedish membership applications jointly submitted last year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which require unanimous approval. Mr. Erdogan, who received his Finnish counterpart on Friday, has been blocking entry into the Atlantic Alliance of this Scandinavian country and, moreover, of its Swedish neighbor since May 2022. Turkey, in particular, accuses Stockholm of being passive in the face of Kurdish “terrorists” who have taken refuge in Sweden, demanding an extradition in which the government does not have the final say.

Source: L Orient Le Jour

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