Turkey lifts the veto on Sweden and Finland joining NATO. The three countries have signed a joint memorandum this Tuesday in Madrid that includes all of Tayyip Erdogan’s objections, which basically involve the extradition of Kurdish militants to his regime. This was agreed at a meeting convened by the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, which was attended by the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan; the Prime Minister of Sweden, Magdalena Andersson; and the Finnish president, Sauli Niinistö, on the margins of the NATO summit in Madrid, which from now on will have 1,300 more kilometers of border with Russia.
In other words, Turkey achieves everything it asked for: Sweden and Finland will support Turkey in its fight against the PKK, they will stop supporting the YPG; they will amend their laws on terrorism; they will share classified information with Ankara; they will extradite suspected terrorists; Turkey, Finland and Sweden will establish a permanent joint mechanism for consultations on justice, security and intelligence; Sweden and Finland confirm that there are no arms embargoes against Turkey.RELATED
“As a result of this meeting, our foreign ministers have signed a trilateral memorandum confirming that Turkey will support Finland and Sweden’s request to become NATO members at the Madrid summit,” the Finnish president said in a statement: ” NATO allies will agree on the concrete steps of our accession in the next two days, but that decision is now imminent. The memorandum underlines the commitment of Finland, Sweden and Turkey to give their full support to threats to each other’s security. In recent weeks, Turkey has expressed concern about the threat of terrorism. Finland has always taken these concerns seriously. Finland condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. As a member of NATO, Finland will fully commit to NATO anti-terrorism documents and policies. As we enhance our cooperation in the fight against terrorism, arms exports and extraditions, Finland continues to operate in accordance with its national laws.”
Stoltenberg explained after the meeting: “We have finished a fruitful meeting. I am happy to announce that we have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO. The three have signed a memorandum that responds to Turkish concerns: arms exports and persecution of terrorism No one has suffered as much from terrorism as Turkey. The three governments have agreed to enhance their cooperation against terrorism. As allies, Finland and Sweden agree to cooperate with Turkish security. This includes agreeing on extraditions, the lifting of the arms embargo on Turkey, the fight against terrorism and the PKK. We are facing the biggest security crisis in decades and the entry of Finland and Sweden strengthens NATO”.
“This is how we solve things in NATO”, Stoltenberg has said: “With dialogue and consensus”. Jens wanted to recall that “in December, President Putin asked NATO to withdraw, but he has managed to make NATO grow because NATO is open. It is possible to join the Alliance, which is the opposite of what Putin wanted when he asked us to sign his security agreements. Now it is up to the 30 parliaments of the allies to decide on the accession of Finland and Turkey”.
Turkey is rated as “hybrid regime” in the index compiled by The Economist, which places the country at 103 in democratic quality, while Finland and Sweden occupy the third and fourth places, respectively.
The secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance has conceded: “We all know that no ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey. Thousands of people have been killed, and the PKK and other groups are responsible for these terrorist attacks. The PKK is a terrorist organization, as pointed out by many allies, the European Union, Finland and Sweden.”
Ankara’s main demands have been that the Nordic countries stop supporting Kurdish groups present on its territory and lift their bans on some arms sales to Turkey.
Erdogan had been adamant throughout Tuesday morning, saying Turkey wanted results, not words to address its concerns, adding that it will also pressure US President Joe Biden on a “stalled” purchase of F-16 fighter jets.