After Turkey’s denial of support, US says Finland, Sweden ready to enter NATO

After Turkey refused to support Sweden for its NATO alliance, US State Department on Monday said Finland and Sweden are ready to join the NATO alliance. 

Loss of Turkey’s support to Sweden came after President Tayyip Erdogan raised objections against the protest happened near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm at the weekend. The protest also included the burning of the holy book Quran.

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State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that burning books that are holy to many is a deeply disrespectful act, adding that “something can be lawful but awful.”

Sweden’s NATO membership went into a limbo after warning Sweden not to expect support for its bid for membership into the military alliance following weekend protests in Stockholm by an anti-Islam activist and pro-Kurdish groups.

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US’ comments on Sweden and Finland membership immediately after the Turkey’s announcement of showing no support to the two nations, show divided stance of NATO members on the addition of two new countries.

Criticising the Quran-burning protest, held on Saturday, Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan, called the action an insult to everyone, especially Muslims. 

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Rasmus Paludan’s Quran-burning protest on Saturday, saying it was an insult to everyone, especially to Muslims. He also expressed his disappointment at Swedish authorities which allowed the demonstration to  take place outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm under “the protection” of security forces.

Pointing out at Sweden, Erdogan said countries which allowed the protests to take place in front of Turkish embassy can no longer expect any charity from Turkey in terms of NATO membership. He also said that Sweden must have measured the consequences of allowing Paludan’s demonstration.

Erdogan also said if Sweden and Finland won’t show any respect to other NATO members and Muslim community then “they won’t see any support from Turkey on the NATO issue.”

The burning of holy book has incited anger among people across the world. The incident has received sharp criticism from several global political leaders. 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan also criticed Sweden for letting pro-Kurdish protests wave flags of various Kurdish groups, including Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK. Notably PKK is identified as a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States of America.

(With agency inputs)


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