Turkey will support Finland, Sweden joining NATO: officials

Source: The Hill | June 28, 2022 | Morgan Chalfant

Officials said Tuesday that Turkey has dropped its objections to the bids of Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), representing a major breakthrough at a summit in Madrid.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö announced in a statement that Turkey had agreed to support the bids of the two Nordic countries after all three countries signed a trilateral memorandum in which they committed “to extend their full support against threats to each other’s security.”

Niinistö said that the “concrete steps” for Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership process would be agreed to over the remaining days of the summit. 

“I am pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference shortly thereafter.

Stoltenberg said the three countries had signed a memorandum addressing Turkey’s concerns and pledging to deepen cooperation on counterterrorism and support Turkey in combatting threats to its national security.

The announcement came on the first day of the NATO summit in Spain and after Ankara had protested the bids of both countries to join the alliance for weeks over stated concerns they weren’t doing enough to combat terrorism, and particularly threats from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

In signing the memorandum, Sweden and Finland agreed to crack down on PKK activities and enter into an agreement with Turkey on extradition, Stoltenberg said.

Finland and Sweden formally asked to join the alliance last month, decisions they made in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

A majority of NATO’s 30 member states have expressed support for the countries joining the alliance, which requires unanimous support on top of each country’s government ratifying new ascensions to NATO.


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