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Turkey finally approves Finland’s NATO membership bid



Turkey on Thursday became the final NATO nation to ratify Finland’s membership of the US-led defence alliance amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The ratification came two weeks after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly blessed the bid.

“This evening, we are keeping the promises we made to Finland,” ruling party lawmaker, Akif Cagatay Kilic, said moments before the vote.

Turkey’s approval leaves Finland with only a few technical steps before it becomes the 31st member of the world’s most powerful military bloc.

The process, according to officials, was expected to be completed as early as next week.

It would be recalled that Finland and its neighbour Sweden ended decades of military non-alignment and decided to join NATO May last year.

READ ALSO:Turkey seeks Nigeria’s support for earthquake victims

Their applications were accepted at a June alliance summit meant to show Western world’s desire to stand up to Russia in the face of Europe’s most grave conflict since World War II.

The bids, however, needed to be ratified by all the members’ parliaments — a process that stalled with Turkey and Hungary.

Turkey had delayed Finland’s bid to join the West’s defensive alliance for months – complaining the Nordic nation was supporting “terrorists”.

In a statement following the Turkish vote, the Finnish government said joining the alliance would strengthen the country’s security, and improve stability and security in the region.

“As allies, we will give and receive security. We will defend each other. Finland stands with Sweden now and in the future and supports its application,” Prime Minister Sanna Marin wrote on Twitter.

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