The US Friday welcomed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's announcement to move ahead with Finland's NATO membership bid, the White House said.
"The United States welcomes President Erdogan's announcement that he will send Finland's NATO accession protocols to the Turkish Parliament and looks forward to the prompt conclusion of that process," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.
"We encourage Trkiye to quickly ratify Sweden's accession protocols as well. In addition, we urge Hungary to conclude its ratification process for both Finland and Sweden without delay," he added.
Noting that Sweden and Finland are both "strong, capable partners that share NATO's values," he said that they will "strengthen" the Alliance and contribute to European security.
"The United States believes that both countries should become members of NATO as soon as possible," he added.
Trkiye on Friday said it is approving the process of Finland's NATO membership protocol in its parliament.
Noting that Finland has fulfilled Trkiye's security concerns, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto in Ankara, said: "We have decided to launch the approval process of Finland's NATO membership protocol in our Parliament.'
On Sweden's process, however, Erdogan said the process "will be directly linked to the concrete steps which Sweden will take."
Abandoning decades of military non-alignment, Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO last May.
However, Trkiye, a longstanding NATO member, asked the two Nordic states to take concrete action against terror groups like the PKK and FETO.
In June, Finland, and Sweden signed a memorandum with Trkiye to address Ankara's security concerns, and senior diplomats and officials from the three countries have held various meetings since then to discuss the implementation of the trilateral agreement.
Among the NATO members states, only Hungary and Trkiye have not yet ratified Sweden's and Finland's applications for inclusion in NATO.
Meanwhile, Sweden passed an anti-terror law last November, hoping that Ankara would approve Stockholm's bid to join the NATO alliance. The new law, which will go into force on June 1, will allow Swedish authorities to prosecute individuals who support terrorist organizations.
Source: Anadolu Agency