Bill ratifying Finland's NATO bid approved in commission of Turkish parliament
The Turkish parliament's foreign affairs commission approved on Thurdsay a bill ratifying Finland's bid to join NATO.
Parliament's general assembly still needs to approve the bill and is expected to do so before it closes in mid-April, ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections on May 14.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week during a visit by his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto that Turkey's parliament will begin ratifying Finland's NATO bid, but not that of Sweden.
The leader of Hungary's ruling Fidesz party's parliamentary group similarly said on 17 March that Hungary's parliament will vote on the ratification of Finland's NATO accession on 27 March, but that the parliamentary group will decide on Sweden's NATO accession "later."
The two Nordic countries applied to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year. The parliaments of all 30 NATO members must ratify newcomers, and Turkey and Hungary are the two remaining members who are yet to ratify.
Turkey accuses Sweden of "harboring terrorists," and has set conditions for a green light through a trilateral deal signed by Ankara, Stockholm and Helsinki in June 2022.
The conditions include stronger measures by Sweden against Kurdish political activists allegedly affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and their extradition, ending of Sweden's support for the Kurdish militia in Northern Syria, and lifting of arms embargoes imposed by Sweden on Turkey after the latter's invasion of parts of Syria in 2019.