Turkey's Parliament Approves Finland's NATO Membership Bid


Ankara, March 31 (IANS) Turkey's Parliament has officially approved Finland's bid to become the 31st member of the NATO.

There were 276 votes in favour on Thursday for the Nordic nation to become a part of the military alliance, reports Turkey's state-run Anadolu News Agency.

The vote means that all 30 current member states of NATO have now ratified Finland's accession, a requirement for it to join the alliance.

Abandoning decades of military non-alignment after the launch of Russia's war on Ukraine last February, Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO in May.

But Turkey, a NATO member for over 70 years, asked the two Nordic countries to take concrete action against terrorist groups like the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in order for it to join the alliance.

In June, Finland and Sweden signed a memorandum with Turkey to address Ankara's security concerns, and senior diplomats and officials from the three countries have held various meetings since then to discuss implementation of the trilateral agreement.

Sweden passed an anti-terror law last November, hoping that Ankara would approve Stockholm's bid to join NATO.

The new law, which will come into force on June 1, will allow authorities to prosecute individuals who support terrorist groups.

Turkey had said earlier this month that it would approve the process of Finland's NATO membership in Parliament.

It said that Finland had done what was necessary to gain membership, while Sweden still has work to do.





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