Turkey agrees to back Finnish, Swedish NATO membership
Turkey, Finland, and Sweden sign a memorandum that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join the NATO alliance.
Finland's President Sauli Niinisto confirmed on Tuesday that Turkey has agreed to support Finland and Sweden's joint membership of NATO, on the first day of the alliance's summit in the Spanish capital Madrid.
Niinisto said the breakthrough came after the three countries signed a joint memorandum "to extend their full support against threats to each other’s security."
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters, "I am pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO."
We now have an agreement that paves the way for #Finland & #Sweden to join #NATO. I thank Presidents @RTErdogan & @Niinisto & @SwedishPM for the constructive spirit that made this historic decision possible. pic.twitter.com/dCEeoNjkOl— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) June 28, 2022
"Turkey, Finland, and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey's concerns, including around arms exports and the fight against terrorism," Stoltenberg highlighted.
He pointed out that NATO leaders will formally invite Finland and Sweden to join the alliance Wednesday after Turkey inked a deal to drop its objections.
In exchange for joining NATO, what did Turkey get?
Following the signing of the memorandum, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office considered that "Turkey got what it wanted" from Sweden and Finland before agreeing to back their drives to join the NATO alliance.
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
"Turkey has made significant gains in the fight against terrorist organizations," said the Turkish statement.
Sweden and Finland agreed to "cooperate fully with Turkey in its fight against the PKK" and other Kurdish militant groups, said the statement.
The two Nordic countries have agreed to lift their embargoes on weapons deliveries to Turkey, which were imposed in response to Ankara's 2019 military incursion into Syria.
Erdogan's office said that Finland and Sweden agreed to abandon "the embargo in the field of the military-industrial complex" of Turkey, adding that the two countries agreed to amend their national legislation "in the field of counter-terrorism and the defense industry."
They will also ban "fundraising and recruitment activities" for the Kurdish militants and "prevent terrorist propaganda against Turkey," Erdogan's office said.
According to Ankara, Turkey "confirms its long-standing support for NATO’s open-door policy, and agrees to support at the 2022 Madrid Summit the invitation of Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO."
The statement mentioned that Finland and Sweden also agreed to cooperate with Turkey on the deportation and extradition of "terrorism suspects".