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Turkish Parliament Ratifies Finland's NATO Membership Protocol - Deputy Speaker

© AP Photo / Olivier MatthysFinland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.
Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.03.2023
ISTANBUL (Sputnik) - The Grand National Assembly of Turkiye ratified the protocol on Finland's membership in NATO, Deputy Speaker Haydar Akar said. Thus, all NATO members have ratified Finland's accession to the alliance and only a few formal procedures remain.
"For the ratification of the protocol on Finland's accession to NATO - 276 votes, the proposal was accepted. Congratulations to Finland and its citizens," Akar said.
Before Finland officially becomes a member of NATO, an exchange of letters will take place, after which Helsinki's accession documents must be formally submitted to the US State Department, which serves as the alliance's depository under the 1949 NATO Founding Treaty.
On March 23, the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Turkish Parliament considered the ratification of Finland's protocol on NATO membership, adopted it and subsequently submitted it to Parliament for consideration.
Later in the day, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto commented on the ratification of Helsinki's NATO bid by Turkiye and expected Sweden to enter the alliance as fast as possible.
"All 30 NATO members have now ratified Finland’s membership. I want to thank every one of them for their trust and support. Finland will be a strong and capable Ally, committed to the security of the Alliance. Finland is now ready to join NATO. We look forward to welcoming Sweden to join us as soon as possible," Niinisto said on his social media account.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted that Finland’s accession to the bloc will make NATO "stronger and safer."

"I welcome the vote of the Grand National Assembly of Turkiye to complete the ratification of Finland’s accession," Stoltenberg said on his social media account.

On Monday, Finland's membership in NATO was supported by the Hungarian parliament. Turkey was the last of the alliance's members to vote on the issue.
Last May Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO. Turkiye initially blocked the application process, but in June Ankara, Stockholm and Helsinki signed a security memorandum that addressed Turkiye's concerns.
Nevertheless, because of the scandalous burning of the Quran in front of the Turkish embassy in Sweden, Turkiye has said that it is not ready to ratify the accession of Sweden to NATO. Hungary also did not approve Sweden's application at the moment because of interstate disagreements.
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