Sweden and Finland Will Become NATO members - Turkey Do Not Mind

Photo for illustration
Photo for illustration

Nato member Turkey has agreed to support Sweden and Finland's membership of the alliance

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkiye, President Sauli Niinisto of Finland and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden met in Madrid on Tuesday (28 June 2022) under the auspices of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. In that meeting, the leaders agreed a trilateral memorandum to address Türkiye’s legitimate security concerns, paving the way for Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership. The memorandum was signed by the foreign ministers of the three countries – Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu of Türkiye, Pekka Haavisto of Finland, and Ann Linde of Sweden – in the presence of all three national leaders, and the Secretary General.

Niinisto said the text, "underscores the commitment" of all three countries "to extend their full support against threats to each other's security."

Read more: Finland Will Apply for Membership in NATO - President Sauli Niinisto

Turkey, too, issued a statement, saying it "got what it wanted," and that it had, "made significant gains in the fight against terrorist organizations."

Turkey had previously accused the Scandinavian countries of harboring terrorists due to their perceived support for individuals associated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Ankara views as a terror organization.

Turkey had also demanded the Scandinavian countries lift arms embargoes put in place after Turkish incursions into Syria, and called for the extradition of individuals granted political asylum in Finland and Sweden whom Ankara says took part in a failed 2016 coup attempt.

It had initially opposed the Nordic countries' bids to join.

Turkey was angered by what it saw as their willingness to host Kurdish militants. Sweden and Finland could not join Nato without Turkey's support.

Russia strongly opposes the two states joining and has used the expansion of the West's defensive military alliance as a pretext for its war in Ukraine.

But Moscow's invasion has had the opposite effect, with the path now clear for the two countries to join Nato.

Read more: UK & Allies to Make Ukraine and Moldova's Defense 'NATO standard'