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Turkey Drops Its Objection to Sweden and Finland’s NATO Membership


This is an incredible development – with potentially massive geopolitical implications for Europe. What did the western powers do to twist Turkey’s arm to reverse its position on Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership? What did they promise Erdogan? 

We’re told that Turkey has suddenly lifted its veto over Sweden and Finland’s bid to join NATO. Apparently, the breakthrough happened on Tuesday just hours before the NATO summit began in Madrid. US and Britain are especially chuffed because this provides the all-important public perception of a ‘united front’ against Russia.

But how united is Europe really? Time will tell, as the economic crunch comes to bear in the next few months.

But there are still a few hurdles to go yet.

Financial Times writes…

Turkey has dropped its opposition to Finland and Sweden becoming members of Nato, paving the way for the Nordic countries to join the alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The three countries signed a joint memorandum after hours of talks on Tuesday brokered by Nato, ending a six-week veto by Ankara linked to terrorism concerns. The agreement on the eve of Nato’s annual summit in Madrid ended a dispute that threatened to overshadow an event billed as a demonstration of unity against Russia, support for Ukraine and the alliance’s 10-year “strategic concept”, which is designed to revamp its approach to defending its eastern European allies.

“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,” Finland’s president Sauli 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.” One Turkish official said the Nordic countries had agreed not to provide support to Kurdish militias in Syria that Ankara views as terrorists — a move that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will trumpet as a political win at home in Turkey in the lead-up to elections that must be held before June next year. The official said Finland and Sweden had also agreed to halt support for the Gülen movement, an Islamic sect that Turkey accuses of orchestrating a violent coup attempt in 2016.

The last-minute talks between Niinistö, Erdoğan, Sweden’s prime minister Magdalena Andersson and Nato head Jens Stoltenberg were focused on finding a deal to assuage Turkey’s concerns that the Nordic countries were too soft on extremist groups. “Our joint memorandum underscores the commitment of Finland, Sweden and Turkey to extend their full support against threats to each other’s security. Us becoming Nato allies will further strengthen this commitment,” Niinistö said. Stoltenberg said the agreement “addresses Turkey’s concerns, including around arms exports and the fight against terrorism”.

Turkey’s foreign ministry said Sweden’s deputy foreign minister, Robert Rydberg, would travel to Ankara on Wednesday for “comprehensive” talks. Speaking before the meeting, Erdoğan warned that he wanted to see results, not “empty talk”, during his meeting with his Swedish and Finnish counterparts…

Continue this story at FT

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