Finland, Sweden Assured Of NATO Membership As Turkey Drops Opposition
Recep Tayyip Erdogan used to play semi-professional football when he was younger. He has no qualms about committing professional fouls in international politics as Turkey's president.
Photo Insert: On June 28th, as NATO leaders convened in Madrid for a meeting, Erdogan accepted his award for agreeing to let them in, to the delight of fellow leaders.
His decision last month to stymie Finland and Sweden's NATO membership at a time of acute Russian threat was as surprising as it was effective, The Economist reported.
On June 28th, as NATO leaders convened in Madrid for a meeting, Erdogan accepted his award for agreeing to let them in, to the delight of fellow leaders. "Fantastic news as we kick off the NATO summit," Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted.
The two Nordic countries pledged their "unwavering solidarity and cooperation in the fight against terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations" in a joint memorandum with Turkey.
They also promised to reject the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a radical Kurdish group that has waged decades of insurgency against Turkey, and the closely related Kurdish militia in Syria, the People's Protection Units (YPG).
This appears to be more than just words. They promised to withdraw their arms embargo against Turkey, crack down on PKK financing, "address" Turkey's requests for the extradition and expulsion of Kurdish activists, and change laws to make extradition of terrorist suspects easier. In exchange, Turkey would back their candidacy for membership in the alliance.