EFEBy Javier Alonso Berlin

NATO on Sunday said Finland and Sweden would be welcomed "with open arms" if they decided to join the defense alliance adding that it hopes to convince Turkey to support the expansion.

"They meet the standards and participate in joint missions," German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said at an informal NATO meeting in Berlin.

Baerbock added that Germany will even initiate preparations for a quick ratification process to approve their membership applications.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said they were confident that the alliance would reach a consensus with Turkey on the Nordic countries' bids, in light of the threat posed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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