Finland and Sweden’s foreign ministers hailed a boost to security for NATO as they attended an official signing ceremony in Brussels on Monday (July 5), the next step in the process of them joining the alliance.
The two countries formally completed accession talks on Monday after a political agreement was reached at a leaders summit in Madrid last week once alliance member Turkey lifted its veto linked to concerns about terrorism.
Ambassadors were due to sign the accession protocols at NATO headquarters away from the TV cameras.
Accession must now be ratified by the parliaments of member countries, a process which may take up to a year.
“With 32 nations around the table, we will be even stronger and our people will be even safer as we face the biggest security crisis in decades,” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told gathered diplomats before the signing ceremony.