By Chris King •
Published: 24 Jan 2023 • 23:49
Image of NATO, Swedish, Finnish and Turkish flags.
Credit: Andrzej Rostek/Shutterstock.com
Negotiations between Ankara, Stockholm and Helsinki on the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO, which were scheduled for February, have been postponed. This was reported to TASS on Tuesday by a diplomatic source in Ankara.
“Negotiations scheduled for February with Sweden and Finland within the tripartite mechanism for their accession to NATO have been postponed”, the agency’s interlocutor informed the news outlet.
The Sabah newspaper reported that the trilateral talks were suspended indefinitely. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto also suggested that negotiations between Sweden and Finland with Turkey on joining the North Atlantic Alliance would be suspended for several weeks.
On Saturday 21, Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the right-wing extremist Hard Course party, held a rally in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm with a public burning of the Koran. In his speech, he criticised NATO, Turkey, and its President Tayyip Erdogan, and showed a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.
Erdogan said yesterday, Monday 23, that Sweden should not wait for Ankara to support its NATO membership bid after the anti-Turkish protests in Stockholm. Turkish Foreign and Defence Ministers Mevlut Cavusoglu and Hulusi Akar spoke in a similar manner earlier.
Sweden and Finland applied for membership in the North Atlantic Alliance in May 2022, Turkey subsequently blocked the process, demanding that they declare Kurdish organisations as terrorists and extradite persons accused of terrorism or participation in a coup attempt in 2016.
On June 28, in Madrid, before the start of the NATO summit, negotiations were held between Erdogan, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, then Prime Minister of Sweden, Magdalena Andersson, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. A memorandum was signed allowing Stockholm and Helsinki to join NATO.
Ankara previously stated that this memorandum was not final and the Turkish parliament may not approve it if the two countries do not fulfil the obligations enshrined in it to counteract terrorist organisations.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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