Turkey says it is “meaningless” to restore dialogue with Sweden, Finland

Turkey says it is “meaningless” to restore dialogue with Sweden, Finland
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Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that after the Koran burning incident in Stockholm, it is now meaningless to continue talks with Sweden and Finland

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday it is "meaningless" to hold a trilateral meeting with Sweden and Finland to discuss their NATO bids after protests this month in Stockholm where a far right politician burned a Koran outside the Turkish embassy.

Speaking at a news conference, Cavusoglu also said there is no offer to evaluate Sweden and Finland's NATO membership separately.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has said his country wanted to restore NATO dialogue with Turkey after Ankara indefinitely postponed trilateral talks with Sweden and Finland over their membership.

"The purpose of this mechanism is to see which conditions in the memorandum are fulfilled or not. But this was postponed as it would not be a sound meeting because the environment in this situation would overshadow it," he said.

According to Cavusoglu, “Sweden must choose either to de-mine its route to joining NATO or step on those mines and blow up its chances.”

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan also said on Monday that Sweden can no longer expect Turkey’s support for its NATO bid after allowing the protest that included the Koran burning incident.

The incident came at a sensitive time in bilateral relations, as both Sweden and Finland are seeking Turkey's approval of their membership applications to NATO.

The two Nordic countries applied for membership in NATO last year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but their applications must be approved by all 30 member states of NATO. Turkey and Hungary have yet to approve the application.