Turkey clears way for Finland, Sweden to join NATO

Erdogan's office says Turkey got what it wanted from Sweden and Finland before agreeing to back their drives to join the alliance



NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at a news conference following Turkey, Sweden and Finland signing a memorandum during a NATO summit in Madrid. — Reuters
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at a news conference following Turkey, Sweden and Finland signing a memorandum during a NATO summit in Madrid. — Reuters

By Agencies

Published: Tue 28 Jun 2022, 11:18 PM

Turkey has agreed to support Finland’s and Sweden’s bids for NATO membership, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday.

“I am pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Madrid.

“Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey’s concerns, including around arms exports and the fight against terrorism,” he added.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office said Turkey “got what it wanted” from Sweden and Finland before agreeing to back their drives to join the alliance.

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“Turkey has made significant gains in the fight against terrorist organisations,” said the Turkish statement, adding: “Turkey got what it wanted.”

The two Nordic countries agreed to “cooperate fully with Turkey in its fight against the PKK” and other Kurdish militant groups, said the statement.

They have also agreed to lift their embargoes on weapons deliveries to Turkey, which were imposed in response to Ankara’s 2019 military incursion into Syria.

The two countries will ban “fundraising and recruitment activities” for the Kurdish militants, and “prevent terrorist propaganda against Turkey,” Erdogan’s office said.


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