The governments of Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed an agreement on Tuesday by which Ankara lifts the veto on the two Nordic countries and accepts their entry into the Atlantic Alliance after four hours of meeting in the framework of the NATO summit that is being held in Madrid.
“We have an agreement that paves the way for Sweden and Finland to join NATO“, affirmed the secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, who also participated in the meeting. “The three countries have signed a memorandum in which Turkey’s concerns are shown, such as the arms exports or the fight against terrorism“, has added.
Finland and Sweden presented their request to join the Atlantic Alliance in May, which must be approved unanimously by all NATO members, but Turkey vetoed it because it accused Helsinki and Stockholm of protecting terrorist groups, mainly to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The document does not imply the immediate accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, but it does start the process. The allies will agree on the concrete steps of accession to the Alliance in the coming days.
The three countries will cooperate against terrorism
In a press conference after the foreign ministers of Finland, Sweden and Turkey signed the agreement, Stoltenberg detailed that the three nations have announced their cooperation against terrorism and the two Nordic countries “They will support Turkey in the face of threats to its national security.”
“No country has suffered as many brutal terrorist attacks as Turkey, including the PKK terrorist group”, stated the Secretary General of NATO, who stressed that both countries have also reached a agreement with Turkey on the “extradition of terrorists”.
In this regard, the Turkish government has stated that Finland and Sweden have agreed to “fully cooperate with Turkey in the fight against the PKK and its extensions”. “Thanks to the perspective and resolute stance presented by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has obtained significant progress in the fight against terrorist organizations“says a statement issued by sources from the Turkish delegation at the summit.
“Despite the differences, we are willing to find solutions”
The Secretary General of NATO has stressed that in the Alliance “we have shown that we can always sit down to talk and solve problems”. “NATO’s open doors story is a great success”has underlined.
“Today we have met, we have discussed and we have found a good solution. This is how we resolve problems in NATO,” Stoltenberg said, adding that “sometimes you have to meet in the same room to find a final agreement.” “Despite our differences, We are ready to agree on very important things.”he has asserted.
The Secretary General of the Alliance has also highlighted that this decision shows the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, “that the doors of NATO are open”. “He wanted less NATO and now Putin has more NATO on his borders. What you have is the opposite of what you demanded,” he said, referring to Moscow’s requests that NATO withdraw its troops in the east.
Finland and Sweden applaud the agreement
The Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, stated this Tuesday that the agreement reached with Turkey and Sweden in Madrid is “an important step” for accession of the two Nordic countries to NATO.
For his part, the Finnish president, Sauli Niinistö, has indicated in a statement that after an “exhaustive meeting” held in Madrid, “our foreign ministers signed a memorandum confirming that Turkey will support the invitation from Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO”.
Along the same lines, the Swedish Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, has described the agreement reached on Tuesday as “good”. “It is difficult to know what has convinced Turkey to accept it, but on the whole, it is a good agreement.”
This Tuesday, a senior US official reported that the president of the United States, Joe Biden, supports the agreement between the three countries, which will mark “a csignificant radical change in the security posture”.