Türkiye's parliament approves Finland's bid to join NATO

Türkiye's parliament approves Finland's bid to join NATO

All member states of NATO alliance have now ratified Finland's accession to NATO, sought after start of Ukraine war last February

By Merve Aydogan

ANKARA (AA) - Türkiye's parliament on Thursday approved Finland's bid to join NATO.

The Nordic country got Ankara's official blessing for its request to join the military alliance, with 276 votes in favor.

Thursday's vote means that all 30 current member states of NATO have now ratified Finland's accession, a requirement for it to join the alliance.

Abandoning decades of military non-alignment after the launch of Russia’s war on Ukraine last February, Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO last May.

But Türkiye, a NATO member for over 70 years, asked the two Nordic countries to take concrete action against terrorist groups like the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in order for it to join the alliance.

In 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 implementation of the trilateral agreement.

Sweden passed an anti-terror law last November, hoping that Ankara would approve Stockholm’s bid to join NATO. The new law, which goes into force on June 1, will allow authorities to prosecute individuals who support terrorist groups.

Türkiye said earlier this month that it would approve the process of Finland's NATO membership in parliament. It said that Finland had done what was necessary to gain membership, while Sweden still has work to do.

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