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Saturday January 28 2023

Sweden eager to restart dialogue with Türkiye after Quran burning

25 January 2023 22:51 (UTC+04:00)
Sweden eager to restart dialogue with Türkiye after Quran burning

Sweden wants to resume dialogue with Türkiye, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said Tuesday, shortly after the latter announced that it has canceled upcoming talks with Stockholm and Helsinki on their NATO membership following the Quran burning incident on the weekend, Daily Sabah reports.

"Our collective message is that we want to call for calm, for reflection, for calm in the process so that we can return to functioning talks between Sweden, Finland and Türkiye on our common NATO membership," Kristersson told a news conference, adding that he wanted a return to "dialogue."

Türkiye earlier in the day said it had postponed upcoming NATO accession talks with Sweden and Finland previously scheduled for February.

Ankara announced its decision one day after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lashed out at Sweden and said it should not expect Türkiye's support for its NATO bid for allowing weekend protests that included the burning of the Quran outside Türkiye's embassy.

"If you don't respect the religion of Türkiye or Muslims, you won't get any support from us on NATO," he said, noting that it is evident that Sweden should not expect Ankara's support for its NATO bid after authorizing such a shameful scandal in front of the Turkish embassy.

"That is not happening," he said, adding that if Sweden prefers terrorist sympathizers and Islamophobes, then Türkiye suggests they should let them defend their country too.

A Turkish diplomatic source said the trilateral meeting has been canceled indefinitely, without providing further details.

Kristersson said there were "provocateurs who wanted to spoil Sweden's relations with other countries" and foil its bid to join the U.S.-led Western military alliance.

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