Finland, but not Sweden, steps closer to joining NATO

Erdoğan made the announcement at a press conference in Ankara on Friday Finnish President Sauli Niinistö after the two leaders met for bilateral talks in the Turkish capital.

– Regarding fulfilling the promises of the tripartite memorandum of understanding, we have seen that Finland has taken genuine and concrete steps”, the Turkish leader said.

Niinistö said Turkey’s decision to accept his country’s bid to join NATO was “hopeful” sign when Russia is at war in Europe, but also also required Swedish approval.

“Its not complete without SwedenThe President of Finland said. “We have so much common interest in being neighbors in the Baltic Sea region.”

Erdoğan’s party has a majority in the Turkish parliament, and Finland’s ratification is expected before the presidential election on May 14.

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

Hungary has not yet accepted application to either Finland or Sweden.

Erdogan has expressed deep resistance Sweden’s ratification because of concerns that the Nordic countries have supported what he calls terrorist organizations, particularly the Kurdish separatist movement that has been fighting Turkey for decades.

“Although we welcome Turkey’s decision today to officially ratify Finland’s accession protocol, Turkey’s decision to detach Finland’s NATO application from Sweden is disappointing and unnecessary”, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H.) and Thom Tillis (RN.C.), chairmen of both parties Senate NATO Observer Groupsaid in a statement.

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