- Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said that Turkey will back Finland and Sweden's bid to join NATO.
- "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 said in a statement.
- Niinistö said he met to discuss the matter with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said on Tuesday that Turkey has decided to back Finland and Sweden's bid to join NATO, a historic move prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Turkey "will at the Madrid Summit this week support the invitation of Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO," Niinistö said in a Tuesday statement. "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."
Niinistö said he met to discuss the matter with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the upcoming summit.
The three countries signed a trilateral memorandum to confirm the plans, Niinistö said, adding that it will underscore their pledge to "extend their full support against threats to each other's security. Us becoming NATO Allies will further strengthen this commitment."
"Finnish and Swedish membership of NATO is good for Finland and Sweden, it is good for NATO, and it is good for European security," Stoltenberg said.
Finland and Sweden's push to join NATO came after decades of military non-alignment became rattled by Russia's late-February invasion of Ukraine.
Turkey previously held out on supporting the two Nordic countries joining the alliance — which requires unanimous agreement from its members on enlargement — because it accused them of supporting Kurdish militias, and Erdogan sought concessions.
Despite Turkey's initial pushback, both the White House and NATO were always optimistic that the situation would be resolved. With Erdogan's support, Finland and Sweden are now set to begin the process of becoming the latest members to join the 30-nation alliance.