Washington DC, 20 March 2023 (TDI): The United States (US) Secretary of State, Antony Blinken on the behalf of US has welcomed Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announcement that he will begin the ratification process for Finland to join NATO.
We welcome Turkish President @RTErdogan’s announcement of Parliament’s upcoming ratification vote for Finland’s @NATO accession. We encourage Türkiye to ratify Sweden’s accession protocols as well. Both Finland and Sweden will strengthen the Alliance. https://t.co/9CsQMOcMGq
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 17, 2023
This marks a major step forward in the nearly 10-month wait since Finland and Sweden announced plans to join the alliance in May 2022.
To add more, President Erdogan noted that with Finland’s membership, NATO will become stronger and will play an active role in maintaining global security and stability.
To mention, Sweden is also in the process of joining NATO, but President Erdogan has hesitated to sign off on the bid as he accuses Sweden of harboring Kurdish militants whom Turkey considers terrorists.
Furthermore, the US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan reaffirmed his support by encouraging Türkiye to quickly ratify Sweden’s accession protocols as well.
Also, Finland’s move to join NATO is seen as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and other recent military action that has increased tension between Moscow and the West.
The people of Finland have expressed large support for joining NATO, as this move would give the country a much larger security umbrella to protect it from regional and global threats.
Significance of this announcement
While the process of officially entering the alliance may take some time, the Turkish President’s announcement has been seen as a major step forward in the journey.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has also expressed his appreciation for Turkey’s leading role in helping Finland join the alliance.
He noted that “NATO’s door remains open and we are committed to welcoming these new members into our Alliance.” With the ratification process now underway, Finland is one step closer to becoming one of NATO’s 29 current member states.
In the coming months, further discussions will take place between Turkey and Sweden with regard to the latter’s accession protocols. Meanwhile, Finland is already beginning to prepare for its official membership in NATO.
Moreover, the Finnish government has been working with NATO and other partners to ensure that the country has aligned its defense policies and military capabilities with the standards of the organization.
The ratification process for Finland’s membership to NATO marks a significant step towards the region’s security. It is hoped that this move will help strengthen the stability and peace in Europe.
In a nutshell, the US is eager to see both Finland and Sweden become members of NATO, as it will reaffirm the commitment of the Alliance to maintaining peace and stability in the region.
The US is looking forward to working closely with Finland once it joins NATO and contributing to its success in the organization.
To conclude, the US also looks forward to continuing its work with Turkey and Sweden in the coming months to ensure both countries’ accession protocols are ratified.