Turkey begins ratification process NATO accession Finland 17:36 abroad Turkish President Erdogan met his Finnish counterpart Niinistö today in Ankara.

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Niinisto and Erdogan prior to meeting.
NOS News

Turkey begins ratifying Finland’s NATO accession process. President Erdogan announced this at a press conference after a meeting with Finnish President Niinistö, who is visiting Turkey.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership because of the Russian threat. All Member States have approved that application, except Turkey and Hungary. A few months later, Ankara did so after the countries had signed an agreement with commitments to Turkey. The countries would deal with Ankara’s extradition requests from Kurdish PKK members and YPG fighters and lift the ban on arms exports to Turkey.

Conversations with Sweden

According to Erdogan, Finland has taken concrete steps in fulfilling the commitments in the agreement between the countries. That does not apply to Sweden, Erdogan said. Turkey has asked for the extradition of 120 ‘terrorists’ and Sweden has not complied, he says.

Tensions between Sweden and Turkey rose early this year when a far-right Danish-Swedish activist burned a Quran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm and protesters waved flags of the PKK, the militant Kurdish movement with which Turkey has been in conflict for decades.

Erdogan mentioned those demonstrations again, but also said that talks with Sweden will continue. “Finnish membership is not complete without Sweden,” said Niinistö. “We need an alliance of 32 members. NATO currently has 30 members.

Ratification Hungarian Parliament

Before new countries can actually join NATO, the parliaments of all member states must agree. Only Turkey and Hungary had not done so until now. The vote on the ratification of the accession of Sweden and Finland has already been postponed several times by the Hungarian parliament.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Orbán’s Fidesz party confirmed to Reuters news agency that the vote on ratification will take place in two weeks. Hungarian MP Kocsis writes on Facebook that Sweden’s ratification will be voted on “at a later date”.

Independent judiciary

Sweden was prepared for this announcement, says the Swedish defense minister. Sweden will do “nothing more and nothing less” than what has been agreed between the countries. He points out that the extradition requests can be assessed both positively and negatively, because Sweden has an independent judiciary. He also said he had no reason to prevent Hungary from ratifying Swedish membership.

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