Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

NATO Allies Sign Sweden, Finland Protocols to Join Alliance

Tue 05 Jul 2022 | 12:30 PM
Israa Farhan

NATO members are set to sign the protocols of accession needed to invite Sweden and Finland to join the alliance at a ceremony to be held Today, Tuesday at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels.

Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Linde and her Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto will attend the ceremony, along with representatives of the 30 current members of the Western Military Alliance.

The protocols allow NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to formally invite Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, but the ratification process may see both countries continue to wait.

Alliance members must pass advocacy protocols, a process that usually includes national parliaments. It is estimated that this will last another six to eight months before Sweden and Finland can join.

The invitation protocols could have been signed sooner, but Turkey only agreed to drop its opposition to the two countries' application for membership in a last-minute deal before the start of the NATO summit in Madrid last week.

Ankara has accused both countries of supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the People's Protection Units (YPG), a Syrian-based Kurdish militia, both of which Turkey classifies as terrorist groups. Both countries objected to the accusations.

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO on May 18, in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, Turkey blocked their attempt for weeks due to terrorism concerns. New membership in NATO requires consensus.

A breakthrough was achieved after the three leaders agreed to cooperate on a series of counter-terrorism efforts, including extradition agreements and pledges to end the arms embargo.