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Turkey agrees to support Finland, Sweden joining NATO after ‘getting what it wanted’

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Finnish president Sauli Niinisto said on Tuesday that Turkey has agreed to support the NATO memberships of Finland and Sweden, and Ankara said it “got what it wanted” from the talks with the two Nordic countries.

Niinisto said the decision came after a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, facilitated by Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg.

“As a result of that meeting, our foreign ministers signed a trilateral memorandum which confirms that Turkey will at the Madrid Summit this week support the invitation of Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO,” Niinisto said in a statement.

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“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.

The memorandum underscores the commitment by the three countries to “extend their full support against threats to each other’s security.”

Sweden and Finland sought to enhance their security through NATO membership, ending decades of military nonalignment in an historic move driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Turkey declared in May it had objections to the two countries joining NATO, accusing them of supporting Kurdish militants, namely the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), whom Ankara considers to be a terrorist organization, and failing to extradite dozens of suspected “terrorists,” specifically the followers of Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.

The Turkish Communications Directorate said on Tuesday that Finland and Sweden agreed on full cooperation with Turkey in the fight against the PKK and its affiliates, state news agency Anadolu reported. “Turkey got what it wanted.”

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