Turkey Complicates Sweden and Finland’s NATO Accession Process

**Turkey Indefinitely Postpones Meeting Aimed at Eliminating Ankara’s Objections to Nordic Countries Joining NATO**

In a recent development, Turkey on Tuesday indefinitely delayed a meeting scheduled for early February with Sweden and Finland, both members of the Nordic countries, with the aim to eliminate Turkey’s objections to both of the countries joining NATO. Following a far-right militant burnt a copy of the Koran near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm at an authorized demonstration, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had warned on Monday that Sweden must stop counting on Turkey’s “support”.

Upon receiving the news, the Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson called for “calm” in the meantime and expressed his desire to “resume a working dialogue with Turkey” in order to achieve his countries entry into the Atlantic Alliance, while Finland discussed the possibility of joining NATO without Sweden for the first time. Finnish Foreign Minister, Pekka Haavisto affirmed the “obstacle” that the protest posed to the respective candidates of NATO and expressed that the delay may be attributed to the Turkish elections in mid may.

Unlike Sweden, Turkey has stated in recent months that it has no objections to Finland’s entry into NATO, but for the admission of either of the countries, the approval from Ankara is necessary. In June, a protocol of agreement between Turkey and NATO was signed at the summit, after Russia invaded Ukraine, and Turkey has expressed that Stockholm’s efforts to comply to the protocol have been insufficient.

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