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HomeNewsFailure to prevent Quran-burning protests raises concerns over Sweden's NATO membership eligibility

Failure to prevent Quran-burning protests raises concerns over Sweden’s NATO membership eligibility


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  • Turkish International Minister Hakan Fidan expressed considerations over Sweden’s incapability to stop Quran-burning protests, elevating doubts about Sweden’s NATO membership credentials. 
  • Regardless of the safety considerations, Turkey said it will approve Sweden’s NATO membership if Stockholm addresses Turkey’s apprehensions adequately.
  • Sweden and Finland utilized to hitch NATO final 12 months following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however Turkey has been delaying Sweden’s membership because of its alleged leniency towards teams thought-about as safety threats.

Turkey’s overseas minister mentioned Tuesday that Swedish authorities’ failure to stop Quran-burning protests within the nation is elevating safety considerations and questions on Sweden’s credentials for attainable NATO membership.

However Hakan Fidan mentioned Turkey would nonetheless approve Sweden’s membership within the army alliance if Stockholm “completes its homework” and presses forward with efforts to handle Turkey’s considerations.

“The truth that the Swedish safety system is incapable of stopping provocations and is presenting a picture of a (nation) that brings issues to NATO — as a substitute of extra energy — is making us suppose when it comes to the strategic and safety features,” Fidan mentioned at a joint information convention along with his Jordanian counterpart.

“On the subject of Sweden’s membership in NATO, whether or not it is going to change into a burden or a profit has change into extra open to debate,” he mentioned.

Sweden and Finland deserted their decades-long neutrality and utilized to hitch NATO final 12 months following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Turkey has been holding off ratifying Sweden’s membership within the alliance, accusing the nation of being too comfortable towards teams that Ankara regards as threats to its safety, together with Kurdish militants and members of a community that Ankara blames for a failed coup in 2016.

Ankara has additionally been angered by a collection of demonstrations in Sweden by supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Employees’ Get together, or PKK, in addition to Quran-burning protests, together with one which occurred final week that was condemned by Muslim nations.

The PKK has waged a 38-year insurgency towards Turkey that has left tens of 1000’s useless. It’s designated a terrorist group by the U.S and the European Union.

NATO needs to carry Sweden into the fold by the point the alliance’s leaders meet in Lithuania on July 11 to 12, and NATO Secretary-Common Jens Stoltenberg has referred to as a gathering of senior officers from Turkey, Sweden and Finland for July 6 to attempt to overcome Turkish objections to Sweden’s membership.

NATO requires the unanimous approval of all current members to increase. Turkey and Hungary are the one nations that haven’t but ratified Sweden’s bid.

Europe Fox News graphic

Turkey’s overseas minister has expressed considerations concerning the failure of Swedish authorities to stop Quran-burning protests inside the nation.  (Fox Information)

Sweden has modified its anti-terror laws after making use of for membership. Fidan, Turkey’s former intelligence chief who was appointed overseas minister final month, maintained that terror teams had been in a position to proceed to stage demonstrations, elevate cash and recruit members in Sweden.

“If Sweden continues with its efforts and does its homework, there are at all times options, simply as there was within the case of Finland,” Fidan mentioned. He was referring to a memorandum that Sweden and Finland signed with Turkey final 12 months underneath which they agreed to handle Ankara’s considerations.

Finland was in a position to be a part of the alliance earlier this 12 months, after Turkey expressed satisfaction with its efforts to satisfy calls for and the Turkish parliament ratified its membership.

In the meantime, Pope Francis lamented final week’s Quran-burning protest exterior a mosque in central Stockholm in an interview with the United Arab Emirates’ Al-Ittihad newspaper. Swedish police allowed the occasion to happen, citing freedom of speech, after a courtroom overturned a ban on an analogous Quran-burning.

“Any e book thought-about sacred by its authors should be revered out of respect for its believers, and freedom of expression must not ever be used as an excuse to despise others, and to permit this, should be rejected and condemned,” the pope was quoted as saying.


In Sweden, a prime bishop referred to as the incident “an assault” on all believers.

“Freedom of speech is about standing up for issues, however it’s not about being allowed to do it at any value,” Ake Bonnier, a bishop who’s appearing as a spokesperson for Sweden’s Lutheran Archbishop Martin Modeus, instructed Swedish broadcaster SVT on Monday.

The Jordanian overseas minister additionally referred to as for mutual respect of non secular values and for the prevention of such protests.

A spokesperson for the United Nations Human Rights Council mentioned Tuesday that following a request by Pakistan, the council will focus on “the alarming rise” in acts of non secular hatred such because the desecration of the Quran.


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