Turkey plans to ratify Finland’s application to join Nato, but independently from Sweden’s bid, ahead of Turkish parliamentary and presidential elections in mid-May, according to Reuters.
On Wednesday, Reuters cited two Turkish officials saying that the Turkish parliament is “highly likely to ratify Finland’s Nato bid before it closes in mid-April for elections.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö‘s office announced that he is headed on a working visit to Turkey this week.
The president’s office said Niinistö will discuss Finland and Sweden’s Nato membership bids, among other topics including Turkey’s devastating earthquake.
Finland and Sweden applied in tandem last May to join Nato, which the other three Nordic countries joined in 1949. Accession requires unanimous consent from all 30 current members, but Turkey and Hungary remain the last holdouts for approval.
Last week, the latest round of three-way Nato talks involving Finland, Sweden and Turkey ended without resolution. Ankara has been particularly opposed to approving Sweden’s membership, accusing it of harbouring Kurdish terrorists and allowing anti-Muslim and anti-Turkish demonstrations.
Hungary delays decision
Meanwhile Reuters reports that Hungary’s ruling party will postpone next week’s parliamentary session, bringing a further delay in its ratification of Finland and Sweden’s Nato admission.
The session was to have started on Monday.
The ruling Fidesz party told the news agency that the postponement was due to a “delay in negotiations with Brussels.” Hungary is mired in a dispute with the European Commission over the release of EU funds.
Last autumn, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán‘s chief of staff promised that the country would ratify Finland’s and Sweden’s Nato membership by mid-December.
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