Turkey reaches NATO deal with Finland and Sweden

At the summit, NATO will have observers from Scandinavia.

Turkey will support inviting Finland and Sweden into NATO at the alliance’s upcoming summit in Spain, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto announced on Tuesday after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

Three countries sign a memorandum to understand at the meeting. It was organized with support from NATO Secretary General Jens Scholtenberg. 

“The concrete steps for our accession to NATO will be agreed among NATO allies over the next two days, but that decision is now imminent,” said Niinisto. “I am pleased that this stage on Finland’s journey towards NATO membership has been completed.”

Turkey, Finland, Sweden and Sweden have pledged to “condemn terrorism in all its forms” and end their support for organizations Ankara has designated as terrorist – including the Kurdish groups PKK and YPG, as well as the movement led by the exiled cleric Fetullah Gulen, which the Turkish government refers to as “FETO.” 

“Turkey got what it wanted,”Erdogan stated this in a statement shortly after the announcement.

Stoltenberg, speaking at a conference following the meeting said that Sweden and Finland would become NATO observers during the summit. The memorandum also includes provisions for fighting terrorist and arms exports. It will include stricter national legislation.

Finland and Sweden imposed an arms embargo against Turkey in 2019, over Ankara’s intervention in Syria. Turkey also demanded Stockholm/Helsinki close their offices and prohibit publications related to FETO. It also requested that assets related groups it had designated as terrorists be frozen and banned from demonstrating.

Ankara’s opposition threatened to derail NATO’s plan to invite Sweden and Finland at the summit in Madrid which began on Tuesday. Two traditionally neutral Scandinavian states declared in April their willingness to join US-led Alliance, citing current conflicts in Ukraine.



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