On 9 March 2023, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg convened representatives from the governments of Türkiye, Finland and Sweden – the parties to the ‘Permanent Joint Mechanism’ established by the ‘Trilateral Memorandum’ signed in Madrid on the margins of the 2022 NATO Summit. This was the third such meeting of the Permanent Joint Mechanism since its creation last year. The Secretary General, who opened the meeting, said: “Finland and Sweden have taken unprecedented steps to address legitimate Turkish security concerns. It is now time for all Allies to conclude the ratification process and welcome Finland and Sweden as full members of the Alliance ahead of the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius”. The representatives of Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden discussed the concrete steps that have been taken to implement the Trilateral Memorandum. As agreed in the Memorandum, there are no arms export restrictions between them; they have significantly enhanced counter-terrorism cooperation; and Sweden is now in the process of tightening anti-terrorism legislation, including against the PKK. All participants welcomed the progress that has been made. The parties agreed that the decision to invite Finland and Sweden to become NATO members was historic. They further agreed that rapid ratifications for both Finland and Sweden would be in everyone’s interest, and that their membership will strengthen the Alliance. Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden also agreed on the long-term value of the Permanent Joint Mechanism in fighting terrorism and agreed to continue cooperation in this format and meet again before the Vilnius Summit.
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