Turkiye agreed to lift opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, a breakthrough in an impasse clouding the summit.

Iran PressAsia: NATO ally Turkiye has lifted its veto over Finland and Sweden’s bid to join the Western alliance after the three nations agreed to protect each other’s security, ending a weeks-long drama that tested allied unity against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The breakthrough came on Tuesday after four hours of talks just before a NATO summit began in Madrid, averting an embarrassing impasse at the gathering of 30 leaders that aimed to show resolve against Russia.

The lifting of the veto means that Helsinki and Stockholm can proceed with their application to join the military alliance, cementing what is set to be the biggest shift in European security in decades, as the two, long neutral Nordic countries seek NATO protection.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and the president of Turkiye confirmed the accord in separate statements, after talks between the NATO chief, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

Terms of the deal

Stoltenberg said the terms of the deal involved Sweden intensifying work on Turkish extradition requests and amending Swedish and Finnish law to toughen their approach to those seen as threats by Ankara.

Stoltenberg also said Sweden and Finland would lift their restrictions on selling weapons to Turkiye.


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