Finland: NATO talks should be suspended
The NATO accession talks between Turkey, Sweden and Finland should be suspended, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said.
Commenting on the souring tensions between Sweden and Turkey over the weekend’s Koran-burning demonstration in Stockholm, Haavisto said there’s a need for break.
“It's best to continue after the situation has calmed down," the Finnish top diplomat told Finland’s public radio YLE, Mezopotamya news agency reported on Tuesday.
Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the Danish far-right political party Stram Kurs (Hard Line) has burned a copy of Muslim’s holy book of Koran during a manifestation outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm on Saturday.
Turkey who slammed the Swedish government of allowing such “anti-Islam” acts, said under these circumstances, Stockholm should not expect Ankara to ratify Sweden’s NATO accession documents.
The incident came just days after a life size effigy resembling the Turkish President was hung on a pole during a protest in front of the City Hall in Stockholm, that immediately met strong condemnations from Turkey.
Haavisto also said that Finland may review its strategy to join NATO at the same time as Sweden.
"We have to assess the situation as to whether there is anything that will hinder Sweden's progress in the long-run. It is too early to take a position on it at the moment. Joint application remains as our first option," he said.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb.24, Sweden, alongside with Finland officially applied for NATO membership. The final approval of the two Scandinavian countries’ NATO bids depends on the current 30 member states’ parliaments, where Ankara says it will not approve the accession documents should Stockholm and Helsinki fail to combat “terrorism”, in reference to Kurdish groups and Gulen Movement.