Turkey to announce approval of Finnish membership to NATO

Turkey to announce approval of Finnish membership to NATO
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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is expected to announce Turkey's approval of Finland's membership to NATO after meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto on Friday

Turkey is expected to announce its approval of Finland's accession to NATO on Friday after a meeting between Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, while Sweden will have to wait further for its application to NATO as the Turkish government says it has not yet fulfilled its commitments, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported.

While most of the member countries of NATO have already given their consent, Turkey and Hungary have not yet agreed to the admission of the Nordic countries, which sought the protection of the military alliance after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Talks between Turkey and the two Scandinavian countries have been ongoing, but only Finland has received approval for membership so far. The two countries' memberships were hoped to be approved in time for the NATO summit in Lithuania in July, but it now appears that only Finland will be approved at this time.

President Niinisto arrived in Turkey on Thursday for a working visit and will meet with President Erdogan in Ankara on Friday. Erdogan confirmed that he has agreed to Finland's accession to NATO and expects to make the official announcement after the meeting with Niinisto.

Turkey had previously called on Finland and Sweden to increase their cooperation with Turkey, particularly with regard to the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) and other organizations that Turkey classifies as terrorist.

The three countries signed an agreement on the issue during the NATO summit in June 2022, and Turkey withdrew its veto on their membership in NATO.

Turkey's parliament is expected to approve the accession agreement with Finland (NATO) next week before recess for parliamentary elections on May 14.