Nordic-Turkey deal took weeks of wrangling, and a U.S. nudge

6/29/2022 11:25:00 PM

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters that the breakthrough in the talks with Turkey over NATO hopefuls Finland and Sweden came over a coffee break

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Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters that the breakthrough in the talks with Turkey over NATO hopefuls Finland and Sweden came over a coffee break

An 11th hour deal that paved the way for NATO hopefuls Sweden and Finland to soon become members was the result of weeks of political wrestling across Europ ean capitals and calibrated U.S. involvement. But moments before a deal was struck, it still looked like it was going nowhere.

RegisterMoments later the leaders of Turkey, Sweden and Finland, along with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, stood side-by-side as their foreign ministers signed a document. Turkish officials broke into applause, but still no-one explained to journalists what they were witnessing.

BREAKING THE DEADLOCKThat process led to an important breakthrough at technical talks held in Brussels on Monday between senior officials from Turkey, Sweden and Finland."Turkey has their own definition about terrorism and terrorist groups and we couldn't agree on that definition," Haavisto said. "In the end, we could separate those issues in the statement."

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Coffee and donuts can do wonders… or maybe it was the Danish….. Glad they could push us closer to nuclear war over coffee. Such a fun anecdote

NATO Reaches a Deal With Turkey to Admit Sweden and Finland, Secretary-General SaysBoth Finland and Sweden already meet many of the requirements to be NATO members.

U.S. to press Turkey as Finland, Sweden hope for NATO breakthrough NATO hopefuls Finland and Sweden voiced optimism on Tuesday that Turkey might lift its veto over their stalled bid to join the military alliance at a summit in Madrid, where U.S. President Joe Biden is set to meet his Turkish counterpart. Pray Turkey says no since Turkey stands between sanity and insanity.

Turkey lifting objections to Sweden, Finland joining NATOTurkey has agreed to lift its opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO , a breakthrough in an impasse clouding a leaders’ summit in Madrid.

Finland, Sweden closer to joining NATO after Turkey drops opposition, leader saysAfter urgent top-level talks, alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said “we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO .” FOX13

Turkey Backs NATO Membership for Sweden, FinlandTurkey has agreed to allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO , ending a dispute that slowed an expansion of the alliance So do Sweden, Finland agree with the influx of Turkish migrants? Great news! Turkey is not a reliable ally! Erdogan is like a flag in the wind!

Turkey lifts its objections to Sweden, Finland joining NATOTurkey has agreed to lift its opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO , a breakthrough in an impasse clouding a leaders’ summit in Madrid amid Europ e’s worst security crisis in decades triggered by the war in Ukraine

After two hours of intense discussions on Tuesday before a NATO summit in Madrid, the leaders still struggled to bridge certain sticking points, with the parties repeating in frustration their existing stances, Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told Reuters in an interview.Updated 28 seconds ago Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the world's most powerful military alliance reached a deal to admit Sweden and Finland after resolving the concerns of holdout Turkey.The White House confirmed Biden will meet Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during the summit that starts later on Tuesday and runs until Thursday, and two NATO diplomats said they expected Washington to seek to break the impasse.MADRID (AP) — After urgent top-level talks, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said “we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO.

"And then we had a coffee break and as always, during the coffee break, great ideas come up and then in the end, towards the end of the meeting, it was easier to come to the conclusion," Haavisto said. Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters. Previously, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would not approve the NATO applications of both Sweden and Finland.com Register So unexpected was the breakthrough, when it came, that it appeared to catch even summit officials unprepared.com Register "The general view is that the discussions went somewhat better, which should mean that understanding has somewhat increased on both sides," Finnish President Sauli Niinisto told reporters in Helsinki, referring to talks between diplomats. Reporters were called in to witness a signing ceremony, but were not told who would be appearing or why. Previously, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would not approve the NATO applications of both Sweden and Finland. Moments later the leaders of Turkey, Sweden and Finland, along with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, stood side-by-side as their foreign ministers signed a document."Finnish and Swedish membership of NATO is good for Finland and Sweden, it is good for NATO, and it is good for European security.

Turkish officials broke into applause, but still no-one explained to journalists what they were witnessing. The push to add Sweden and Finland to the world's most powerful military alliance comes as amplifies fears of other countries in the region. "We hope to make progress," Stoltenberg said. In fact, the document was a memorandum that ended a weeks-long drama. read more BREAKING THE DEADLOCK NATO had been taken by surprise in May, when Turkey announced its security demands of Finland and Sweden and put a block on a membership process most allies had thought was a formality. Illinois' primary Election Day is June 28. There followed weeks of back and forth, led by Stoltenberg, working to avert what could have been an embarrassing deadlock for NATO as it tries to display unity in the face of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In the wider Nordic region, Norway, Denmark and the three Baltic states are already NATO members. That process led to an important breakthrough at technical talks held in Brussels on Monday between senior officials from Turkey, Sweden and Finland.

But a compromise on several key issues - such as Sweden and Finland giving clear assurances about the steps the would take on suspected Kurdish militants that Ankara considers terrorists - were not struck until the last minute, Turkish, U.S. NO MORE 'PASSING THE BALL AROUND' Before leaving for Madrid, Erdogan in Ankara held firm on his stance, saying Turkey wanted action, not words, to address its concerns, adding he will also push Biden on a F-16 fighter jet purchase. and NATO officials, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity, said. A major difficulty was on something very basic - how countries defined terrorism. "Turkey has their own definition about terrorism and terrorist groups and we couldn't agree on that definition," Haavisto said. As of now, they are producing words," Erdogan said at the airport.

"In the end, we could separate those issues in the statement." Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Finland's President Sauli Niinisto, Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto react during a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, June 28, 2022. REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura/File Photo Stoltenberg was particularly instrumental and encouraged the Turks to continue negotiations, while also pushing the two Nordic countries to agree to stronger commitments that Ankara sought, several sources familiar with the talks said.S. "A good amount of progress was made in Brussels but a few key topics were left to be decided by the leaders themselves," a Turkish official said. The two Nordic nations pledged not to support groups that Ankara deems terrorists and committed to prevent activities of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its affiliates, the text of the deal said.

Notably, the statement said Finland and Sweden would not support the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia. Other allies, including France and Spain, indirectly urged Turkey to yield. Turkey's Western allies designate the PKK as a terrorist group but not the YPG, which Ankara says is a PKK affiliate but is also a key element of the Kurdish-led coalition that the United States largely relied on to fight Islamic State. The two Nordic countries have also pledged to address Turkey's pending extradition requests "expeditiously and thoroughly", while lifting their restrictions on selling weapons to Turkey. APPLAUSE BEFORE DINNER When the crisis blew up in May, analysts speculated that a gesture from the United States, perhaps even expediting the sale of F-16 fighter jets that Ankara wants, could help resolve the impasse. "We are convinced that, if not now, it will be later, but eventually they will join the Atlantic alliance," Sanchez told reporters. But Washington has repeatedly said this was not a bilateral issue with Ankara and made an effort to remain on the sidelines.

That was a deliberate strategy, a senior U.S. administration official told reporters on Tuesday after the deal was announced, to avoid Washington becoming a party to the talks that Ankara could have made demands to. Instead, U.S.

President Joe Biden made a special effort to "choose his moments selectively" to help the parties across the finish line, the official said. "The Finns and Swedes were very focused on deploying the president at the moment they thought most important," the U.S. official said, adding that a phone call between Biden and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan materialised after the two Nordic countries asked Biden to reach out to Ankara. Following the call, Erdogan departed for Madrid.

The relief was palpable for everyone, including other NATO ministers having dinner in Madrid. "When I, with (Swedish Foreign Minister) Ann Linde, arrived to the dinner of NATO ministers, we got a big applause there and I think everybody was quite relieved that this issue was solved and they can concentrate on other issues," Haavisto said. Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com Register Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Additional reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara, editing by Robin Emmott and Alex Richardson Our Standards: .