Turkey Backs NATO Membership for Sweden, Finland – The Wall Street Journal.


Turkey Backs NATO Membership for Sweden, Finland https://www.wsj.com/articles/nato-allies-to-focus-on-threats-from-russia-and-beyond-at-summit-11656408633

Leaders from Turkey, Finland, Sweden and NATO posed after the signing of a memorandum In Madrid.
Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

By Daniel Michaels + and Jared Malsin 

MADRID—The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is on a course to admit Finland and Sweden following an agreement with Turkey, a move that would add vast territory and new military abilities in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The two Nordic countries, which had long shunned joining the alliance, abruptly changed their stance following Moscow’s attack on its neighbor on Feb. 24.

Both countries applied for NATO membership a month ago, but Turkey had balked, taking exception to how Sweden, in particular, has handled issues of Kurdish terrorism raised by Ankara.

Polish soldiers land from a helicopter during a military exercise of NATO troops near Orzysz, Poland, in May.
KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS

“In light of the progress we have made, [Turkey] has agreed to support Finland and Sweden” in their membership bids, said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in announcing the deal on Tuesday.

All other members of the 30-country alliance had endorsed the two countries’ bid to join NATO, so Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s agreement with the leaders of the two candidate countries appears to clear the way for the alliance’s expansion.

“Stoltenbergberg, about the countries’ accession. “We met, we discussed and we found a good solution,” he said, summing up the last-minute deal-making before NATO’s annual summit.

The leaders of the three countries signed a memorandum following a meeting that lasted for more than three hours in Madrid on Tuesday, in which Sweden and Finland committed to working with Turkey on issues of concern to it.

Finland and Sweden have formally applied to join NATO, but Turkey has threatened to block them from joining. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday explains why Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sees the expansion as a threat to Turkey’s national security. Photo composite: Sebastian Vega

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