Finland, but not Sweden, moves closer to NATO membership

Erdoğan announced the news at a press conference in Ankara on Friday with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto after the two leaders met for bilateral talks in the Turkish capital.

“When it comes to fulfilling its commitments in the trilateral MoU, we have seen that Finland has taken authentic and concrete steps“said the Turkish leader.

Niinistö said Turkey’s decision to endorse his country’s application for NATO membership was a sign of “hope” while Russia is waging a war in Europe, but also also pushed for Sweden’s approval.

“It is not complete without Sweden“said the Finnish president. “We have so many common interests, being neighbors in the Baltic Sea region.”

Erdoğan’s party holds a majority in the Turkish parliament and ratification for Finland is expected before presidential elections on May 14.

Turkey will join 28 other nations that have already announced they will ratify Finland’s bid to join the security alliance, which requires approval from all 30 members.

Hungary has yet to approve the app for Finland and Sweden.

Erdogan has Express deep opposition to ratify Sweden over fears the Nordic nation has backed what he calls terrorist organizations, particularly a Kurdish separatist movement that has been fighting Turkey for decades.

“While we welcome today’s decision by Türkiye to formally ratify Finland’s accession protocol, Türkiye’s decision to dissociate Finland’s NATO candidacy from Sweden is disappointing and unnecessary“, Sense. Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H.) and Thom Tillis (RN.C.), co-chairs of the bipartisan NATO Observer Group in the Senatesaid in a statement.

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