Turkey begins the process of ratifying Finland’s application to NATO. The issue will be discussed in the Turkish parliament. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced this at a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Ankara, Anadolu Agency reports.
He emphasized that Turkey has always supported NATO’s “open door” policy. According to Erdogan, Finland has taken “sincere and concrete steps” to address Ankara’s security concerns.
“The decision on the separate consideration of applications to NATO was made in the light of the lack of accomplices of terrorists in Finland, which cannot be said about Sweden,” Erdogan said.
Referring to Stockholm’s bid to join the military-political alliance, the Turkish president noted that the negotiations with Sweden on applying to NATO would continue in light of the alliance’s principles and considering Ankara’s attitude to the fight against terrorism.
“Ankara handed over the list of 120 terrorists to Stockholm. Without the extradition of those criminals to Turkey, a positive attitude to NATO’s application is impossible. The issue of combating terrorism is a “red line” for Turkey. Ankara’s attitude to Stockholm’s application will be determined by the specific steps of the Swedish side,” Erdogan explained.
He emphasized that Ankara is determined to eliminate the threat of terrorism in the region, closing this issue once and for all for the future of Turkey. Erdogan expressed hope that the parliament will approve Finland’s application for NATO membership before the May elections in Turkey.