Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has given his country’s blessing to Finland’s bid to join NATO.
This decision removes the biggest obstacle to the Western defense alliance’s enlargement, amid ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Erdoğan announced that Turkey’s parliament will begin ratifying Finland’s accession process, and that he hopes it will be endorsed before the country’s elections on May 14th.
However, Erdoğan did not approve Sweden’s bid, stating that discussions on terrorism-related issues and NATO membership would depend on the measures taken.
All 30 NATO members must ratify newcomers, and Finland would be the first to join since North Macedonia in 2020. Erdoğan had previously threatened to veto the bids but now appears to have had a change of heart.
This decision is expected to be welcomed by Western diplomats and investors who would like to see Turkey pivot back towards closer relations with its traditional Western allies.