Turkey Welcomes Finland as NATO’s Newest Member in Historic Move

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö Global News

In a historic move, the Parliament of Turkey has ratified Finland’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on April 1, 2023. This makes Finland the 31st member of the military alliance, which was founded in 1949 to counter the Soviet threat.

Finland has been a partner of NATO since 1994, and has participated in several NATO-led missions and exercises. Finland has also been a member of the European Union since 1995, and has a close relationship with its Nordic neighbors, especially Sweden, which is also a NATO partner.

Finland’s decision to join NATO was motivated by several factors, including the security challenges posed by Russia’s aggressive actions in the region, the changing global security environment, and the desire to deepen its cooperation with other NATO allies. Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö announced the intention to apply for NATO membership in November 2022, after a referendum showed that 55% of Finns supported the move.

The Parliament of Turkey, as one of the founding members of NATO, had to ratify Finland’s accession before it could become official. Turkey has been a key ally of Finland in the region, and has supported its integration into NATO. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated Finland on its membership, and expressed his hope that it would contribute to the stability and security of Europe and beyond.

Finland’s accession to NATO is expected to have positive effects on its defense capabilities, its regional influence, and its relations with other allies. Finland will also benefit from NATO’s collective defense guarantee, which states that an attack on one ally is an attack on all. Finland will also have a voice in NATO’s decision-making processes, and will be able to access NATO’s resources and expertise.

Finland’s accession to NATO is a milestone for the alliance, which has been expanding its membership and partnerships since the end of the Cold War. NATO now covers almost one billion people and half of the world’s economic and military power. NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Finland as a new member, and praised its commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. He also said that Finland’s accession would strengthen NATO’s unity and solidarity, and enhance its ability to defend its values and interests.

Photo Credit: NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Flickr https://flic.kr/p/2nv79eG


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