NATO chief lauds Trkiye’s decision on Finland’s membership bid


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday hailed Trkiye's decision to move ahead with Finland's membership bid.

'I welcome today's decision by Trkiye to move ahead with the ratification of Finland's membership in NATO. This will strengthen Finland's security, it will strengthen Sweden's security, and it will strengthen NATO's security,' Stoltenberg said in a statement.

'I hope that the Turkish Grand National Assembly will vote to ratify as soon as possible,' he said.

He said Ankara's move will make the alliance 'stronger and safer' at a 'critical time.'

At last week's meeting between Trkiye, Finland, and Sweden at the NATO headquarters all sides 'recognized that considerable progress has been made in implementing the trilateral memorandum signed in Madrid, and that rapid ratifications for Finland and Sweden are in everyone's interest,' he added.

'The most important thing is that both Finland and Sweden become full members of NATO quickly, not whether they join at exactly the same time,' said Stoltenberg.

His statement came soon after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Trkiye will begin the process of ratifying Finland's NATO membership in its parliament.

'NATO will become stronger with Finland's membership, and I believe it will play an active role in maintaining global security and stability,' Erdogan said at a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto in Ankara.

He said Trkiye will continue talks with Sweden 'on the basis of the principles of the alliance and our approach to the fight against terrorism.'

Source: Anadolu Agency