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Türkiye Cancels Trilateral Sweden-Finland Meet after Protest

Türkiye Cancels Trilateral Sweden-Finland Meet after Protest

Tuesday, 24 January, 2023 - 16:30
A NATO flag is seen at the Alliance headquarters ahead of a NATO Defense Ministers meeting, in Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2021. (Reuters)

Türkiye has cancelled indefinitely a trilateral mechanism meeting with Sweden and Finland scheduled for February after a weekend protest in Stockholm that drew condemnation from Ankara, state broadcaster TRT reported on Tuesday.

The meeting that was to take place in Brussels in February was postponed at Ankara's request, TRT said citing Turkish diplomatic sources. Erdogan's spokesman said earlier this month that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was to also attend.

A source at the Turkish presidency said Türkiye had not cancelled the meeting, but postponed it. The source did not specify when the meeting was postponed to.

The presidency declined to provide on-record comment about the postponement.

On Monday, President Tayyip Erdogan said that Sweden should not expect Türkiye’s support for its NATO membership after a protest near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm at the weekend including the burning of a copy of the holy Quran.

Sweden and Finland applied last year to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after Russia invaded Ukraine, and now needs the backing of all current NATO states to advance their application.

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