NATO: Turkey agrees to support Finland and Sweden attempt to join alliance | world news

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Sweden and Finland have signed a memorandum for the accession of the two Nordic states to NATO, removing a Turkish blockade in the accession process.

It comes after the leaders of the three nations spoke at a NATO top in Madrid.

A statement from Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto said: “We had an in-depth meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, facilitated by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

“As a result of that meeting, our foreign ministers signed a trilateral memorandum confirming that Turkey will support Finland’s and Sweden’s invitation to join NATO at this week’s Madrid summit.”

Mr Stoltenberg confirmed the agreement and said the memorandum addressed Turkey’s concerns, including over arms exports and terrorism.

The Nordic states’ attempt to join the alliance was met with a stumbling block when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said they supported Kurdish militants

Finland’s statement said: “Our joint memorandum underlines the commitment of Finland, Sweden and Turkey to extend their full support against threats to each other’s security. Our becoming NATO allies will further strengthen this commitment.

“Turkey has in recent weeks expressed its concern about the threat of terrorism. Finland has consistently taken these concerns seriously. Finland condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. As a NATO member, Finland will be fully committed to counter-terrorism documents and policies of NATO.”

The traditionally neutral countries decided to apply for NATO membership after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

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