- BBC News World
They are 30 years old and maybe 32 years old.
The way was cleared for Sweden and Finland to become members of NATO on Tuesday, after the Turkish government agreed to lift its veto and support their accession to the alliance.
The information was announced by the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, during the first day of the NATO summit in Madrid (Spain).
Niinistö explained that the agreement was possible after the three countries Signala– Joint Memorandum “to offer their full support against threats to the security of others”..
Turkey objected to the accession of these two northern countries to NATO, arguing that these countries harbor Kurdish activists whom Ankara considers “terrorists”.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the agreement and stressed that the memorandum signed by the three countries “addresses Turkey’s concerns, including those related to arms exports and counter-terrorism,” according to the statements. Reuters.
Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent, points out that the change in the position of the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan means that these two modern Scandinavian countries You will join the Atlantic AllianceAnd the Which will increase isolation – and cause discomfort – in Russiaa country that considers NATO an offensive rather than a defensive organization.
Despite being liberal democracies, Sweden and Finland remained for decades as neutral countries in the conflict between Russia and the West.
However, the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s government led to a reconsideration of their position and a request for protection under the NATO security umbrella.
What does the agreement include?
Stoltenberg said Sweden had agreed to increase the work it was doing Managing requests for extradition of suspected militants made by Turkey.
Ankara has accused Stockholm of harboring activists the Erdogan government considers to be activists of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Sweden denies this.
Suspected fighters will also be subject to stricter measures due to changes in the laws of Sweden and Finland.
Stoltenberg also said that the two northern countries would lift their restrictions on arms sales to Turkey, which were imposed in the wake of Turkey’s armed incursion into Syria in 2019.
Although Finland and Sweden already meet many requirements to join NATO – including that they are democracies and have the willingness and ability to contribute militarily to NATO missions – It will take some time to establish.
Stoltenberg announced that the 30 NATO leaders would invite Sweden and Finland to join the alliance and they would officially become “guests”. Once that happens, we still have to wait for the parliaments of those 30 countries to ratify their governments’ decision, which can take up to a year.
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