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Turkish parliament ratifies Finland’s NATO membership


ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s parliament on Thursday ratified Finland’s application for NATO membership, lifting the final hurdle in the Nordic country’s long-delayed path to joining the Western military alliance.

The 276 lawmakers present voted in favor of Finland’s candidacy, days after the Hungarian parliament also approved Helsinki’s membership.

Alarmed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago, Finland and Sweden abandoned their decades-long policy of non-alignment and asked to join the alliance.

Full unanimity is required to admit new members to the 30-member alliance, and Turkey and Hungary were the last two NATO members to ratify Finland’s membership.

Sweden’s bid to join the alliance, meanwhile, has been left in abeyance, with Turkey and Hungary refusing to give it the green light despite their support for NATO expansion.

The Turkish government accuses Sweden of being too soft on groups it sees as terrorist organizations and security threats, including Kurdish militant groups and people associated with a 2016 coup attempt.

More recently, Turkey has been angered by a series of protests in Sweden, including a protest by an anti-Islam activist who burned the Koran outside the Turkish embassy.

The Hungarian government claims that some Swedish politicians made derisory statements about the state of Hungarian democracy and played an active role in ensuring that billions of European Union funds were frozen due to alleged violations of the rule of law and democracy.

Turkish officials said that unlike Sweden, Finland has fulfilled its obligations under a memorandum signed last year under which the two countries pledged to address Turkey’s security concerns.

washingtonpost Gt

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