Erdogan is not backing down on Sweden's NATO MembershipWorld | February 2, 2023, Thursday // 10:28| views
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
“Turkey does not support Sweden joining NATO as long as it allows attacks on Islam's holy book, the Quran”, said the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "Our opinion on Finland is positive, but not on Sweden," he said.
His remarks came after Danish-Swedish extremist Rasmus Paludan burned copies of the Quran on two separate occasions last week - first outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm and then outside a mosque in Denmark. Paludan also said he would burn the Muslim holy book every Friday until Sweden was accepted into the NATO alliance.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO in May last year, a decision prompted by Russia's war in Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022.
The acceptance of new members into the alliance requires the unanimous consent of all NATO members, including Turkey, which has been a member of the alliance for more than 70 years.
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