Türkiye will support Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto announced on Tuesday evening. He and the Prime Minister of Sweden had a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, following which the announcement was made. An American official later revealed that President Joe Biden was involved in the “behind-the-scenes” negotiations between the two Nordic countries and Turkey.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Türkiye, President Sauli Niinistö 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.
Secretary General Stoltenberg said: “I strongly welcome the signing of this trilateral memorandum, and I strongly welcome the constructive approach all three countries have shown during the negotiations. Finnish and Swedish membership of NATO is good for Finland and Sweden, it is good for NATO, and it is good for European security.”
“We will take a decision at the summit to invite Sweden and Finland to become members, it is a fast, unprecedented process,” Stoltenberg told reporters on the second day of the NATO summit in Madrid. Both countries applied to join the Alliance in mid-May.
“President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met today with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the margins of the NATO Summit. President Biden welcomed Turkey’s conclusion of a trilateral agreement with Finland and Sweden that paved the way for Allies to invite them to join NATO. The leaders discussed their continued support for Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression, as well as the importance of removing Russian obstacles to the export of Ukrainian grain. They also talked about the importance of maintaining stability in the Aegean and Syria. President Biden reiterated his desire to maintain constructive bilateral relations, and the leaders agreed on the importance of continued close consultations between our governments,” reads a statement by The White House.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has obtained “full cooperation” from Finland and Sweden against Kurdish PKK fighters and their allies, the Turkish presidency said in a statement released on Tuesday evening.
British PM Boris Johnson hailed the decision.
Fantastic news as we kick off the NATO Summit.
Sweden and Finland's membership will make our brilliant alliance stronger and safer. https://t.co/l7zN5Ez1EV
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) June 28, 2022
Turkey will ask Finland and Sweden to extradite 33 people belonging to the PKK and FETO movements, whom Ankara considers terrorists, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag announced on Wednesday, a day after signing a memorandum between the three states opening access. these two Nordic countries to NATO, informs AFP.
“Under the new agreement, we will ask Finland to extradite six PKK members and six FETO members, and Sweden to extradite ten FETO members and 11 PKK members,” the minister said, according to local media.
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is on the list of terrorist organizations by Ankara and its Western allies. FETO is an acronym for the movement founded by US-based preacher Fethullah Gülen and considered by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the instigator of the July 2016 coup attempt.