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NATO formally invites Finland and Sweden to join alliance

NATO formally extended an invitation to Finland and Sweden to join the Atlantic alliance after weeks of negotiations Wednesday, increasing the bloc’s membership to 32 countries.

“Today, we have decided to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO, and agreed to sign the Accession Protocols,” the NATO heads of state participating in this week’s Madrid summit wrote in a formal declaration.

“In any accession to the Alliance, it is of vital importance that the legitimate security concerns of all Allies are properly addressed,” it added, referring to opposition raised by Turkey over Sweden and Finland’s harboring of Kurdish activists whom Ankara insists are members of terrorist groups

After weeks of stalling their candidacies, Turkey lifted its objections on Tuesday to the Nordic nations entering the alliance, saying the country “got what it wanted” including “full cooperation … in the fight against” the militant PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) organization “and its affiliates.”

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Article: NATO formally invites Finland, Sweden to join alliance

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