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Erdogan approves Nordic country joining NATO — RT World News

Finland is set to become NATO’s 31st member after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan upheld his parliament’s decision to ratify the Nordic country’s entry into the US-led intergovernmental military alliance .

Erdogan’s decision was confirmed in a document published Saturday in Türkiye’s official newspaper, Resmi Gazete, which said the approval had been cleared by the president’s office on Friday. The signing ends a long ratification process that began last summer when Finland, along with its neighbor Sweden, abandoned decades of military neutrality to seek NATO membership.

“As allies, we will give and receive security,” Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin wrote on Twitter earlier this week after the Ankara parliament vote. “We will defend each other.”

Ankara had opposed Helsinki’s offer to join the alliance, mainly because Finland supported the Kurds “terrorist groups” such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Sweden’s entry into NATO is still blocked by Turkey for similar reasons.

This month, Erdogan had praised what he called Finland “authentic and concrete steps” to address Turkish security concerns.

Any expansion of the NATO alliance requires the unanimous approval of all member states. Finland will be officially presented as a NATO member at its next summit in Lithuania in July. “I look forward to raising the flag of Finland at NATO Headquarters in the coming days,” On Friday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter.

The document signed by Erdogan will be transported to Washington DC in the coming days where the original 1947 NATO treaty is stored. Once the document has been processed by the US State Department, Finland’s membership becomes official. A Finnish representative, likely the country’s foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto, will have to travel to Washington DC to sign the document.

Turkey has yet to give a clear indication as to when it intends to ratify Sweden’s applications to join the alliance, although Ankara has signaled that this will not happen before Turkey’s presidential elections in may.

Stoltenberg told Politico this week he hoped Sweden would become the alliance’s 32nd member after the Turkish elections but before the annual NATO summit in Vilnius on July 11.

rt Gt

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