Swedish premier says NATO talks with Turkey to resume in mid-March

Swedish premier says NATO talks with Turkey to resume in mid-March
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Kristersson said they’re waiting for confirmation to disclose the date

The talks with Turkey on Sweden’s NATO membership that have stalled last month after a Koran-burning protest in Stockholm will resume in mid-March, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said.

“There is also a date, it’s not a secret but we’re waiting for confirmation,” Kristersson told Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT, Reuters reported on Thursday.

In late January, Turkey has indefinitely cancelled a trilateral meeting with Sweden and Finland scheduled for February, following a far-right Danish politician Rasmus Paludan has burned a copy of Muslim’s holy book of Koran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.

In the aftermath of the Koran-burning incident, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Sweden can no longer expect Turkey’s support for its NATO bid as it allowed such protest.

However on Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the suspended talks with Stockholm and Helsinki on their NATO accession will resume soon.

"Our officials will make transparent assessments in Brussels, alongside their Swedish and Finnish colleagues and NATO officials, whether or not steps have been taken," Cavusoglu said during a joint press conference with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ankara.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb.24, Sweden, alongside with Finland officially applied for NATO membership in May. While the vast majority of NATO members welcomed the two country’s applications, 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 documents if Stockholm and Helsinki fail to fulfil their commitments, regarding Turkey’s extradition requests of terror suspects.