The Turkish leader’s latest comments are seen as delaying Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership beyond the country’s May elections.
23.1. 20:12•Updated 23.1. 22:25
The US State Department said on Monday that Finland and Sweden are ready to join NATO.
The US commented on the membership shortly after Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the country does not support Sweden’s NATO membership.
A far-right politician Rasmus Paludan burned the Koran in a demonstration outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm on Saturday, which has sparked outrage in Turkey.
– Those who allow such blasphemy in front of our embassy can no longer expect our support for their NATO membership, Erdoğan said in his speech after the cabinet meeting.
– You let the terrorist organizations continue to run amok and then wait for support to join NATO. That’s not going to happen, the president continued.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that burning books considered sacred is deeply disrespectful.
However, he added that something can be both legal and terrible at the same time.
Erdoğan’s comments are thought to delay the acceptance of Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership until after Turkey’s May elections. Erdoğan announced today that the presidential election will be held on May 14.
Sweden’s foreign minister said to SVT, (you switch to another service) that the matter will be commented on later.
– I cannot comment in more detail until we find out what exactly it is about, said the foreign minister Tobias Billström.
According to SVT, experts in Sweden are also of the opinion that the acceptance of NATO membership will remain until after the elections.
Relations between Sweden and Turkey have tightened in recent weeks.
Earlier in January, a doll representing Erdoğan was hung outside the Stockholm City Hall, causing irritation among the Turkish leadership.
Because of the puppet, Turkey recalled the speaker of the parliament Matti Vanhanen (central) and the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament by Andreas Norlén trip to Turkey. The trip was supposed to start on Monday evening.
Haavisto: Finland received inquiries at the EU meeting
Foreign minister Pekka Haaviston according to the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, the situation with NATO membership raised concerns today.
– After all, every other person came to pull his sleeve and say if he could help somehow, said Haavisto after the meeting.
According to Haavisto, other countries are thinking about what Turkey is trying to achieve by prolonging the matter.
Finland is closely following the US program in which it plans to sell F16 fighter jets and new parts for old fighter jets to Turkey. According to Haavisto, Turkey’s reactions to this are expected.
According to him, the burning of the Koran in Sweden was an “unfortunate event” that was unnecessary.
Haavisto said that he spoke on the phone with the Turkish Foreign Minister on Monday Mevlüt Cavusoglu with. According to Haavisto, it would be good to organize a tripartite meeting between Sweden, Finland and Turkey as soon as possible.
The article was supplemented on 23.1. at 22:25. Added information about the US view.
Source: Reuters, AFP, AP, STT