By Sinan Uslu
ANKARA (AA) – The Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs commission approved a bill Thursday that ratifies Finland’s bid to join NATO.
Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akcapar briefed the parliamentarians on the proposal of the bill.
“We believe that Finland's membership will strengthen the NATO alliance, contribute to the burden-sharing of the alliance against threats, contribute to NATO's deterrence, regional security and our determination in the fight against terrorism. We consider that our alliance with Finland will also contribute to the development of our bilateral relations,” Akcapar said
Reminding that Finland submitted its application to join NATO last May, he said Sweden and Finland should take care of Türkiye’s legitimate security concerns and start acting in the spirit of alliance solidarity.
Sweden and Finland have undertaken concrete commitments, he said, adding the commitments include support for Türkiye's fight against terrorism and the removal of the restrictions imposed on Türkiye concerning defense industry products.
“From the beginning of this process, Finland was more prepared and determined to meet the sensitivity and expectations of our country,” he added.
Finland has shown its will and determination in the fight against terrorism both in regulation and in practice, he said.
Noting that restrictions in the field of the defense industry have been lifted, he said Turkish defense industry companies are in close cooperation with Finnish companies today.
Last June, Finland and Sweden signed a memorandum with Türkiye to address Ankara’s security concerns, and senior diplomats and officials from the three countries have held various meetings since then to discuss the implementation of the trilateral agreement.
Among the NATO members states, only Hungary and Türkiye have not yet ratified Sweden and Finland's applications for inclusion in NATO.
Meanwhile, Sweden passed an anti-terror law last November, hoping that Ankara would approve Stockholm’s bid to join the NATO alliance. The new law, which will go into force on June 1, will allow Swedish authorities to prosecute individuals who support terrorist organizations.