NATO: There is an Agreement with Turkey to accept Sweden and Finland
Turkey has agreed to support the candidacies of Finland and Sweden for NATO membership. The news was confirmed by the Secretary-General of the Alliance Jens Stoltenberg.
The news comes during the first day of the NATO summit in Madrid, where the leaders of Turkey, Sweden and Finland and the Secretary-General of the Pact Jens Stoltenberg talked in an attempt to find a solution to the veto imposed by Ankara on the accession to the Alliance of Sweden and Finland.
The two Nordic countries will receive a formal invitation to join on Wednesday.
Turkey, Sweden and Finland have signed a joint memorandum saying the three countries will expand their support against each other's security threats.
Ankara interprets this as a promise of concrete steps for the extradition of those accused of terrorism but who have been granted asylum in the Scandinavian countries. These are mostly Kurdish fighters.
This, as well as the arms embargo imposed on the Turkish military offensive in Syria in 2019, which was announced tonight that it will be lifted, were the main reasons why Turkey refused to approve the candidacies of Sweden and Finland.
Following talks today, the presidency in our southeastern neighbor said Turkey had "got what it asked for" from the talks. The three countries will also set up a mechanism to share counter-terrorism intelligence.
Four-way talks between Jens Stoltenberg and the leaders of Turkey, Sweden and Finland took place in Madrid yesterday.
In the last days before the NATO summit, Turkey signaled that negotiations had not progressed enough to give the two Scandinavian countries the "green light".
Negotiations also took place in Brussels at a lower level.
It is still not entirely clear what the breakthrough in the negotiations was.
Ankara wants Sweden to stop supporting the banned Kurdish Workers' Party, the PKK, in our southern neighbor, to lift the arms embargo and to give Stockholm guarantees.
"NATO has always been able to bridge differences between member countries," Jens Stoltenberg said tonight.
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