The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasized yesterday Wednesday that his country will fulfill its commitment regarding Finland’s accession to NATO. The statement came ahead of his meeting with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niiniste.
“We will run the necessary procedures. We will do the right thing on our part, keeping our promise. We will meet with the president and fulfill the promise we made,” Erdogan told reporters.
The Finnish president is making a two-day official visit to Turkey (March 16-17) and a meeting with his Turkish counterpart is scheduled for Friday.
According to the announcement of the Turkish presidency, Erdoğan and Niiniste will hold talks on bilateral issues, the process of Finland’s accession to NATO, Euro-Turkish relations, and topics that dominate the international current affairs.
The protocol for the accession of Finland (as well as Sweden) to NATO must be ratified by the parliaments of all the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance. To date, Turkey and Hungary have not given the green light.
The Turkish National Assembly will be dissolved by mid-April, ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections elections of May 14. Erdogan’s statements reinforce the scenario that wants Turkey to initially say “yes” to Finland joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and to demand additional measures from Sweden in order to give its consent, according to international agencies and the Athens News Agency.
Two Turkish officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Reuters news agency on Wednesday that it was “very likely” that the Turkish National Assembly would ratify the protocol for Finland’s accession to NATO before mid-April.
The day before Tuesday, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristerson publicly admitted that the possibility of Finland joining NATO before Sweden has increased, following the recent talks in Brussels.
Finland and Sweden applied last May to join NATO, about three months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Turkey raised objections, accusing the two countries of harboring “terrorists” (including Kurds of the PKK and YPG factions) and demanding the extradition of those accused of “terrorism”. In June, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the governments of Turkey, Finland and Sweden on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid.
Source: News Beast
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