Helsinki celebrates the decision although it regrets not joining NATO hand in hand with Stockholm
MADRID, 17 (EUROPA PRESS) The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced this Friday that the country has finally agreed to ratify Finland's accession protocol to NATO, so that the Turkish Parliament now has a free hand to start the process in question.
Erdogan's words came during a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, who is visiting the Turkish capital, Ankara. Both have met to discuss the future of the Atlantic Alliance, although it was already expected that Erdogan would finally announce this week his intention to ratify the protocol.
"We care about the strong and continued support given by Finland in relation to Turkey's accession to the European Union," said the Turkish president, who pointed out that he hopes that NATO "will be even stronger with Finland." "It will play an active role in maintaining global security and stability," he said, according to reports from the Anatolia news agency.
In addition, he has expressed his wish that the process to approve Finland's accession go ahead in the Turkish Parliament before the elections scheduled for May 14, a possibility that President Niinisto himself has also supported.
For his part, the Finnish president has valued the decision adopted by Turkey, although he has stressed that the feeling of belonging to the Atlantic Alliance will not be complete until Sweden, his neighboring country and with whom he has historically gone hand in hand , also join the group.
Later, Niinisto held an individual press appearance where he reported that both Helsinki and Stockholm already knew of Erdogan's decision before this Friday's press conference, and even pointed out that his trip to Ankara was confirmed once he found out that Turkey would give the 'green light' to join NATO.
For her part, the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, has stressed the importance of the decision announced by Erdogan and Niinisto, while pointing out that Helsinki will do "everything possible" to ensure that Stockholm also receives the go-ahead from Ankara.
"Today an important step has been taken towards Finland's accession to NATO (...) Finland will do everything possible so that Sweden also becomes a member of NATO as soon as possible. Together we are stronger," Marin said. in a post on his official Twitter profile.
ACCESSION OF SWEDEN
In relation to Sweden's accession, Erdogan reiterated that the talks "continue" taking into account the "principles of the Alliance" and recalled that a list of "120 terrorists" was delivered to the Swedish authorities without any changes for now.
"We have given them a list with the names of 120 terrorists. We have told them to hand them over to us. It is not possible for us to address this issue with Sweden in a positive way if they do not hand them over," he asserted before pointing out that "how the things in the framework of accession will depend directly on the measures that Sweden takes".
He also stressed that in Finland, unlike in Sweden, "there have been no protests backed by terrorist organizations." "That is why we separated one country from the other and we have shown our position on the matter," he added.
"As long as we continue to see negative measures towards Turkey in the framework of the fight against terrorism, we will be ready to take any measure regardless of its consequences," he stressed.
Following Erdogan's announcement, Finland has moved one step closer to becoming a NATO member state ahead of Sweden, who the Turkish authorities continue to demand to meet their demands and cooperate in the fight against terrorist groups. kurds.
The entry of Sweden and Finland into the Atlantic Alliance depends on the approval of the 30 member states. Of these, 28 countries have already completed the procedures, in such a way that only Hungary and Turkey remain to complete the ratification process.
This same Friday, the Hungarian Parliament has confirmed that on March 27 the Parliament will vote, precisely, on Finland's entry into NATO, a measure announced just after Erdogan's position on the matter was known.