Sweden and Finland are CLEARED to join NATO after negotiations with Turkey and ahead of Biden’s meeting with Erdogan on Wednesday
- The leaders of Turkey, Sweden and Finland have signed a trilateral agreement that will clear the way for the two Nordic states to join NATO
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the deal
- ‘I am pleased to announce we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO,’ Stoltenberg said
- Turkey had objected to Finland and Sweden’s stance on Kurdish rebel groups that Turkey considers terrorists
- Biden meeting with Turkish president on Wednesday
The leaders of Turkey, Sweden and Finland have signed a trilateral agreement that will clear the way for the two Nordic states to join NATO and clears objections from Istanbul over the application.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the deal on Tuesday evening ahead of President Joe Biden’s scheduled meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday.
‘I am pleased to announce we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO,’ Stoltenberg said.
‘Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey’s concerns, including around arms exports and the fight against terrorism,’ he added.
Details will be worked out over then next could of days but the deal comes as Europe faces its worst security crisis in decades in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Turkey, meanwhile, said it had ‘got what it wanted’ including ‘full cooperation… in the fight against’ the rebel groups.
‘Our joint memorandum underscores the commitment of Finland, Sweden and Türkiye to extend their full support against threats to each other’s security,’ Finish President Sauli Niinistö said in a statement.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, third left, shakes hands with Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, right, next to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, and Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto, second right, after signing a memorandum in which Turkey agrees to Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO; NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (left) looks on
President Biden spoke with Erdogan on Tuesday morning.
A senior administration official said that call was for the ‘president to be able to talk directly with President Erdogan about the membership application to Finland and Sweden and to encourage him to seize this moment and get this done.’
The official said Biden made the call at the request of Sweden and Finland.
The official spoke to reporters on Tuesday night to describe President Biden’s role in the process and asked for anonymity to speak frankly.
The official said President Biden didn’t want to get in the ‘middle’ of talks but wanted to put the weight on the scale at the end to get it done.
‘We have been very studious, and rejecting the idea that the United States was wanting to play broker. We did not think that would be productive,’ the official said.
The Biden administration sees the deal as a win.
‘This obviously, is just a powerful shot in the arm from the point of view of allied unity and also, you know, a historic moment for the Alliance to traditionally neutral countries, choosing to sign up to NATO and being welcomed by NATO,’ the senior administration official said.
President Joe Biden will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday
Finland and Sweden will bring with them almost 1million troops, including reserves, along with a huge amount of artillery, jets and submarines
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Finland and Sweden to launch NATO applications
Erdogan objected to Finland and Sweden’s application to join because he wants them to change their stance on Kurdish rebel groups that Turkey considers terrorists.
Biden and Erdogan will have a formal sitdown on the sidelines of NATO on Wednesday.
The two will now ‘talk about the broader set of issues and U.S.-Turkey relationship,’ the senior administration official said.
Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine prompted Sweden and Finland to apply to join NATO.
It’s the biggest expansion of the alliance since former Soviet bloc countries joined the group in 1999.