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Finland, Sweden ... steps away from NATO membership

News report by Hanady Watfa MADRID, June 29 (KUNA) -- Finland and Sweden are mere steps away from joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as Turkiye withdrew its objection hours before launch of summit in Spanish capital, Madrid.
The governments of three nations Turkiye, Finland and Sweden signed a Memorandum of Understanding in regards to the latters' memberships of NATO.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated, Tuesday, "Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey's concerns, including around arms exports and the fight against terrorism." He added: "We now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO." Turkish presidency office said in a statement that Finland and Sweden confirmed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) will be desiganted a "terrorist organization" and commit to prevent activities" of the PKK and all other terrorist organizations and their extensions." US President Joe Biden congratulated via twitter the three nations, hailing the MoU as "a crucial step towards a NATO invite to Finland and Sweden, which will strengthen our Alliance and bolster our collective security." Finnish president Sauli Niinisto clarified that steps leading up to NATO membership will be agreed upon in upcoming couple of days.
While Turkiye withdrew its veto vote, it is likely to reserve its right in case its requirements are not met.
The Nordic nations joining of the military alliance is expected to happen in a relatively short period time, but, meanwhile, in case of an aggression, the US, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Norway and Denmark all guaranteed full support to Sweden.
This step sends a powerful political message to Russia as it fortifies the Northern alliance, facilitates data exchange, operational planning, bolstering leadership network, and regulates immediate response to aggression.
Signing the MoU were Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto and Swedish top diplomat Ann Linde, in presence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. (end) hnd.aai