NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said he is "confident" Finland and Sweden will be able to successfully join NATO after Turkey signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding with Sweden and Finland Tuesday.
"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.
On Wednesday, allied leaders will then decide whether to invite Finland and Sweden to join NATO, he said, adding after the decision, a ratification process will need to take place in all NATO capitals.
The NATO chief said following the signing of the trilateral memorandum, however, he was "confident" Sweden and Finland becoming NATO members is "something that will take place."
Stoltenberg said the military alliance's "open door policy" has been an "historic success," after Turkey agreed to support Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bids.
NATO has what it calls an "open door policy" on new members: Any European country can request to join, so long as they meet certain criteria and all existing members agree.
"In NATO, we have always shown that whatever our differences, we can always sit down, find common ground and resolve any issues. NATO's open door policy has been an historic success," Stoltenberg said, speaking to journalists in Madrid.
"Welcoming Finland and Sweden into the alliance will make them safer, NATO stronger and the Euro Atlantic area more secure. This is vital as we face the biggest security crisis in decades," he added.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tuesday welcomed Turkey's decision to support Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bids, calling it "fantastic news."
"Fantastic news as we kick off the NATO Summit. Sweden and Finland's membership will make our brilliant alliance stronger and safer," Johnson wrote on Twitter.