Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has approved the procedures for Finland to join NATO
At the invitation of Erdogan, Finnish President Niinisto paid a working visit to Turkey from April 16th to 17th. During the period, the two sides discussed the future of NATO. Erdogan said on the 17th that he would approve the start of the process for Finland to join NATO.
Erdogan said that we will start to submit to the parliament the treaty on Finland joining NATO, and hope to complete the process before the election on May 14th. We are one of the biggest defenders of NATO policy. The Turkish side sees that Finland has fulfilled the commitment in the agreement signed in July last year.
Turkey’s attitude towards Sweden is still obviously different. Erdogan emphasized that “we previously hoped that the Swedish government would extradite 120 terrorists who threatened Turkey, but so far Sweden has not responded. We are not opposed to Sweden joining NATO, but we cannot take a positive attitude towards it.”
Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO in May 2022. If Finland joins first, it will become the 31st member of NATO. Sweden will have to continue negotiations. However, Niinisto welcomed Erdogan’s decision on the 16th, expressing his hope to see Sweden join NATO, and believing that Finland would not officially become a member of NATO without Sweden.