Finland and Sweden have agreed to cooperate in Türkiye's fight against the PKK terror group and its offshoots, according to the memorandum signed by the three sides.
Sweden and Finland have agreed to cooperate in Türkiye's fight against the PKK terror group and its offshoots, with the three sides signing a memorandum that paves the way for the Nordic countries' entry into NATO.
Sweden and Finland will address Türkiye's pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects on priority and investigate and interdict financing as well as recruitment activities of the PKK and other terrorist groups, according to the memorandum on Tuesday.
The breakthrough came after talks involving Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Finland's President Sauli Niinisto and Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Madrid.
Stoltenberg said Sweden and Finland will be formally invited to join the 30-member transatlantic alliance on Wednesday. The crucial June 28-30 summit of NATO is being held in the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis.
"I'm pleased to announce Türkiye, Finland and Sweden made agreement that paves the way for Nordic countries' NATO bids," Stoltenberg said.
Finland and Sweden also welcomed the agreement following the four-way talks.
Noting that this agreement is valuable for the Swedish people, Andersson said: "I think it is good that we reached this agreement for the safety of Sweden and the Swedish people."
For his part, Niinisto said on Twitter: "Our joint memorandum underscores the commitment of Finland, Sweden and Türkiye to extend their full support against threats to each other's security.
NATO chief Stoltenberg:— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) June 28, 2022
- Türkiye agrees to support Finland, Sweden joining alliance
- We've always been able to find common ground & resolve our differences
- Allies will take decision on Sweden, Finland's membership on Wednesday pic.twitter.com/vriUa5RmLj
Separately, US President Joe Biden congratulated Türkiye, Sweden and Finland after the three nations agreed on a memorandum.
"Congratulations to Finland, Sweden, and Türkiye on signing a trilateral memorandum – a crucial step towards a NATO invite to Finland and Sweden, which will strengthen our Alliance and bolster our collective security – and a great way to begin the Summit," Biden wrote on Twitter.
White House announced that both leaders Biden and his Turkish counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to meet at the NATO summit to discuss bloc's collective defence and security and a "range of issues important to the bilateral relationship"
Sweden and Finland applied to join the alliance last month, a decision spurred by Russia's offensive against Ukraine. But Türkiye, a longstanding member, voiced objections, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terror groups.
"...Finland and Sweden will not provide support to YPG/PYD, and the organisation described as FETO in Türkiye. Türkiye also extends its full support to Finland and Sweden against threats to their national security," the memorandum of understanding said.
YPG is the Syrian extension of the PKK terrorist organisation and the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) is the group behind the 2016 defeated coup.
"Türkiye, Finland and Sweden commit to fight disinformation, and prevent their domestic laws from being abused for the benefit or promotion of terrorist organisations, including through activities that incite violence against Türkiye," according to the memorandum.
It was signed by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his counterparts in Finland and Sweden — Pekka Haavis and Anne Linde.
The three countries confirmed that "now there are no national arms embargoes in place between them".
Ankara, Helsinki and Stockholm will also establish a Permanent Joint Mechanism to oversee the implementation of steps agreed upon.
It will see the "participation of experts from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, and Justice, as well as Intelligence Services and Security Institutions".
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the US, EU and NATO – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.