Sweden should not expect Turkey’s backing to join NATO, says Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday warned Sweden that it should not expect Turkey’s backing to join the NATO following the burning of the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.

“Those who allow such disgraceful acts in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm can’t expect good news from us on NATO membership,” Erdogan said at a press conference after the cabinet meeting.

No individual has the freedom to insult the faith of Muslims or other religions, he added.

Saturday’s burning of a copy of the Quran by Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right political party Hard Line, came at a time when Sweden, along with Finland, was seeking Turkey’s backing to join NATO.

The bid has been blocked by the Turkish government, which accuses Sweden and Finland of supporting anti-Turkey groups.

The Nordic states have pledged to support Turkey’s fight against terrorism and agreed to address Ankara’s pending deportation or extradition requests for “terror” suspects. But the Turkish parliament has not ratified their membership yet.

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