Turkey to confirm Finland’s NATO membership, says Erdogan

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Friday that Turkey would begin the process of ratifying Finland’s NATO membership, adding that the country has taken concrete steps to fulfill its commitments to NATO .

Turkey, which is a member of the Atlantic Alliance, will continue its discussions on terrorism-related questions with Sweden, the other Nordic candidate country, Tayyip Erdogan added during a press conference with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto.

He warned that Turkey’s green light for Sweden’s membership would directly depend on the measures taken by Stockholm on this file. Turkey’s president again criticized Sweden for not taking concrete action regarding a list of 120 “terrorists” Ankara is seeking to extradite.

Regarding Finland, Tayyip Erdogan said he expected Turkey’s parliament to ratify membership before the next election on May 14.

In Hungary, the leader of the ruling party, Fidesz, said that parliament would vote on ratification of Finland’s membership on 27 March, and that the majority bloc would unanimously support this membership. Met Coxis said that a decision on Sweden would be taken later.

Hungary’s ratification process has been stalled since last July. In February, President Viktor Orban accused Finland and Sweden of spreading “lies” about democracy and the rule of law in Hungary. Fidesz elected officials visited two Nordic countries at the beginning of the month.

Sweden and Finland asked to join NATO last year after Russia invaded Ukraine.

(Reporting by Anse Toksabati, Seda Caglayan, Kristina Than in Budapest, French edition edited by Jean-Stéphane Brosse, Blandine Heinault)

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