Kevin Liptak, Niamh Kennedy, Sugam Pokharel, Kate Sullivan and Donald Judd of CNN wrote:Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said on Tuesday that Turkey has agreed to support Finland and Sweden's NATO membership bids, removing a major hurdle to the two countries joining the alliance.
Niinistö said in a statement that a joint memorandum on the matter was signed by Turkey, Finland and Sweden on Tuesday in Madrid ahead of what is shaping up to be a critical summit.
The joint memorandum underscores the commitment of Finland, Sweden and Turkey "to extend their full support against threats to each other's security," Niinistö said.
"The concrete steps of our accession to NATO will be agreed by the NATO allies during the next two days, but that decision is now imminent," he added.
US and European officials had been eyeing the summit for potential progress in moving Finland and Sweden's applications forward to join NATO.
The two nations formally applied to be part of the security alliance in May, propelled by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said repeatedly Turkey wouldn't support the bids, accusing the two countries of harboring members of the separatist militant Kurdistan's Workers Party, also known as PKK, which Turkey views as a terrorist organization.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said he is "confident" that Finland and Sweden will be able to successfully join NATO after the signing of the trilateral memorandum of understanding.
"I'm pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey's concerns, including around arms exports, and the fight against terrorism," Stoltenberg said, speaking to journalists in Madrid following the signing of the memorandum.
https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/28/politics ... index.html