Turkish president says to ratify Finland's NATO bid

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 18, 2023
Adjust font size:

ANKARA, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed Friday to ask the parliament to vote on Finland's NATO membership bid, but delayed that of Sweden, citing steps seen from Finland to address Türkiye's security concerns.

"We have observed concrete and sincere steps from Finland in recent times. As a result of Finland's sensitivities towards our legitimate security concerns, we have decided to initiate the approval process" in the parliament, Erdogan said at a press conference with Finland's President Sauli Niinisto in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

He stressed he believed that NATO will further strengthen and play a crucial role in global security with Finland's admission.

Erdogan meanwhile said Türkiye still expected Sweden to extradite 120 members of what Turkey calls terrorist groups, before his country approaches the Swedish membership bid "positively."

Finnish President Niinisto, for his part, welcomed Türkiye's decision as "a significant move for all the people of Finland," but hinted that Finland would only join the military bloc together with Sweden.

"Because we have joint security interests. We have borders in the Baltic Sea. I hope we will be an alliance with 32 members at the Vilnius Summit," he said, speaking of the planned NATO summit in July.

Sweden and Finland submitted their formal requests to join NATO in May 2022, which were initially objected by Türkiye, a NATO member, citing their support for anti-Turkish Kurdish organizations and political dissidents.

A month later, Türkiye lifted its objections after reaching a deal with Sweden and Finland in Madrid. Enditem

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter