Turkey lifts objection to Sweden and Finland's NATO membership – Axios

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and leaders from Turkey, Finland and Sweden attend a signing ceremony of a memorandum on the Nordic countries' bids for NATO membership. Photo: TUR Presidency/ Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan agreed Tuesday to lift his objection to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, paving the way for the two Nordic nations to begin the accession process.
Driving the news: The leaders of the three countries signed a trilateral memorandum on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Madrid confirming Turkey would support Sweden and Finland's accession after weeks of negotiations over counterterrorism and arms exports.
The big picture: Sweden and Finland moved rapidly to apply to NATO in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, reversing decades of security policy and opening the door to the alliance's ninth expansion since 1949.
Flash forward: Weeks of obstinance appeared to dissipate suddenly at this week's NATO Summit, where President Biden is expected to meet with Erdoğan on Wednesday.
What they're saying: "I am delighted to conclude this stage on Finland’s road to NATO membership. I now look forward to fruitful conversations on Finland’s role in NATO with our future Allies here in Madrid," Finland's President Sauli Niinistö said in a statement confirming the news.
Go deeper: Why NATO formed and why Finland and Sweden want to join the alliance
This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.


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