Turkey Finally Agrees to Ratify Finland’s Bid to Join NATO

 

Recep Tayyip Erdoan, the Turkish president, has agreed to waive his veto on Finland’s application to join NATO, the Transatlantic military alliance.

Finland, which shares an 832-mile border with Russia, was forced to reexamine its foreign and security policy of military neutrality and aspire for NATO membership when Russia invaded Ukraine. Finland would become the alliance’s 31st member if it joins.

The measure will almost certainly boost the West’s ability to respond to any future Russian threat across the Baltic Sea.

 

 

After a meeting with the Finnish president, Sauli Niinistö, in Ankara on Friday, March 17, Erdoğan said he would recommend to the Turkish parliament that it vote to back Finland’s application to join. He said he hoped the vote would happen before the Turkish elections in May.

 

On Friday, Erdoğan said Turkey’s concerns about Kurdish terrorist activity in Finland had been addressed.

“Turkey is one of the strong defenders of Nato’s open-door policy,” he said. Finland had taken “concrete and authentic steps” to meet Turkey’s security concerns, and “with Finland’s membership Nato will become stronger”.

Niinistö said to Erdoğan: “Now we have got an answer, thank you,” but he added: “Finnish Nato membership is not complete without Sweden.” He expressed the hope that both countries would be permitted to join Nato at its summit in Vilnius in July.

 

Erdoan has been demanding that Finland and Sweden do more to crack down on Kurdish activists for months.

 

Erdoan has been demanding assurances from Finland and Sweden that members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a terrorist organization listed by the European Union, will be eradicated. He stated there should be “no space for any terror outfit no matter what their name or objective”.

 

Hungary is currently the only remaining NATO member that has yet to ratify Finland’s membership, and it is anticipated to cave next week rather than be isolated within the alliance.

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