Turkey cancels meeting with Sweden, Finland after burning of Koran
Turkey has canceled indefinitely a trilateral mechanism meeting with Sweden and Finland scheduled for February after a weekend protest in Stockholm that drew condemnation from Ankara, state broadcaster TRT reported on Tuesday.
The meeting that was to take place in Brussels in February was postponed at Ankara's request, TRT said citing Turkish diplomatic sources. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was to also attend the meeting.
Stoltenberg on Monday castigated the attitude of the Turkish President, who threatened to block Sweden's NATO membership.
Erdogan said that Sweden should not expect Turkey's support for its NATO membership after giving permission to the Koran burning protest and added:
"If they love enemies of Islam that much, we advise them to delegate their country's defense to them," Erdogan said.
Sweden and Finland applied last year to join NATO following Russia's invasion of Ukraine but all 30 member states must approve their bids. Ankara has previously said Sweden in particular must first take a clearer stance against what it sees as terrorists, mainly Kurdish militants and a religious group it blames for a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.