NATO to sign protocol accepting Finland, Sweden accession
The July 4 negotiations come after an accord with NATO member Turkey last week that saw Ankara give up its opposition to their membership.
The formal procedure to join the Western military alliance is currently being discussed by Sweden and Finland with NATO authorities in Brussels. This would be a significant change from the Nordic nations' long-standing military nonalignment policies.
The July 4 negotiations, which come after an accord with NATO member Turkey last week that saw Ankara give up its opposition to their membership, are being led by Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde and her Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto.
One request vs. a long list of conditions— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) June 28, 2022
While #Turkey had a long list of conditions from #Finland and #Sweden, all the two Nordic states wanted was to join #NATO.
Here's your guide to understanding on what basis the agreement was made. pic.twitter.com/Aw7Jtu7frp
The accession protocols for Sweden and Finland are anticipated to be signed by ambassadors from the 30 NATO members on July 5. The approval of their memberships by all alliance members is thus likely to take a few months.
Ankara initially declared that it would block their membership due to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's accusations that they support what he dubbed "terrorism and provide safe havens for Kurdish militants operating in Turkey."
However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lately dropped weeks of opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.
Last week, Erdogan declared victory after securing a 10-point agreement in which the two countries agreed to join Turkey's "fight against banned Kurdish militants and to quickly extradite suspects."
Turkey put the agreement to the test right away when it announced that it would seek the extradition of 12 suspects from Finland and 21 from Sweden. "We ask them to fulfill their promises," Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said in a statement.
In response, Sweden insisted that any decision to extradite "Kurdish militants and coup plot suspects" to Turkey would be made by "independent courts".
Justice Minister Morgan Johansson said in a written statement as quoted by AFP that "in Sweden, Swedish law is applied by independent courts. Swedish citizens are not extradited. Non-Swedish citizens can be extradited at the request of other countries, but only if it is compatible with Swedish law and the European Convention."