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Finland urges Turkey, Hungary to quickly approve Swedish, Finnish NATO bids

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Finland’s prime minister, Sanna Marin, on Tuesday urged Hungary and Turkey to quickly approve the Swedish and Finnish applications for membership in the NATO defense alliance, Reuters reported.

Hungary and Turkey are the only two remaining NATO members to not yet have ratified the applications.

“All eyes are now on Hungary and Turkey. We are waiting for these countries to ratify our applications. I think it would be important that this happen preferably sooner than later,” Marin told a joint news conference with other Nordic leaders.

Finland and Sweden last week reiterated they would join NATO at the same time, presenting a united front to Turkey.

The Nordic neighbors asked to join the NATO alliance in May in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but ran into objections from Turkey, which has accused the two of harboring groups it deems terrorists.

Marin said Friday that the Turkish president told her he had more questions for Sweden than for her country. But she said she would not abandon Sweden in the process.

“It is very important for us, of course, that Finland and Sweden join NATO hand in hand,” Marin told reporters at a joint press conference with her Swedish counterpart in Helsinki last Friday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said as recently as Oct. 6 that his country remains opposed to the Swedish bid.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who took office last month, said, “We have been taking every step, so far, hand in hand and none of us have any other ambition.”

He said he would meet with Erdoğan soon. “It’s completely legitimate that Turkey get confirmation that Sweden is doing what Sweden has committed to do within the framework of the agreement,” he added.

Swedish daily Aftonbladet on Friday cited sources saying that Turkey had invited Kristersson to a bilateral meeting in Ankara, probably on Nov. 8.

Kristersson’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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