First row: Mevlut Cavusoglu Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Pekka Haavisto Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, and Ann Linde of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden. Second row: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, President Sauli Niinistö of Finland and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden in Madrid Spain on June 28, 2022 during the signing ceremony.

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US President Joe Biden congratulated Finland, Sweden and Turkey for reaching an agreement which will pave the way for the Nordic countries to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance.

In a statement, Biden said, "I congratulate Turkey, Finland and Sweden on signing a trilateral memorandum, which paves the way for Allies to invite Finland and Sweden to join NATO at the Madrid Summit."

US President recalled Finland's President Sauli Niinistö and Sweden Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson's visit to the White House and said that they strongly support their membership.

"Their membership will strengthen NATO's collective security and benefit the entire Transatlantic Alliance. I look forward to working with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, our Allies, and with Congress to ensure that we can quickly welcome them into our Alliance," Biden said.

"As we begin this historic NATO Summit in Madrid, our Alliance is stronger, more united and more resolute than ever," he added.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said that Turkey has agreed to support Finland and Sweden's NATO membership bids, removing a major hurdle to the two countries joining the alliance.

In a statement, Niintso said that a joint memorandum on the matter was signed by Turkey, Finland and Sweden in Madrid. The joint memorandum underscores the commitment of Finland, Sweden and Turkey "to extend their full support against threats to each other's security," Niinisto said as quoted by CNN.

"The concrete steps of our accession to NATO will be agreed by the NATO allies during the next two days, but that decision is now imminent," he added.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said he is "confident" that Finland and Sweden will be able to successfully join NATO after the signing of the trilateral memorandum of understanding.

"I'm pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey's concerns, including around arms exports, and the fight against terrorism," Stoltenberg said, speaking to journalists in Madrid following the signing of the memorandum.

Source: ANI

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