Swedish PM: Burning the Quran harmed Sweden's reputation
The prime minister asked Swedes to maintain their composure in order to facilitate Sweden's accession to NATO.
On Thursday, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson acknowledged that the Quran-burning demonstration in Stockholm had damaged the country's reputation abroad and its relationship with Turkey.
He said that the recent events and activities in Sweden had "consequences for Sweden's image abroad," saying it had complicated the dialogue with Turkey.
According to Kristersson, the desecration of the Quraan damaged Sweden's business ties and national security interests. He asked Swedes to remain calm in order to facilitate Sweden's accession to NATO.
Read more: Paludan vows burning Quran weekly until Turkey approves Swedish bid
The prime minister spoke after welcoming Sanna Marin, his Finnish colleague, to Stockholm. Since assuming office in 2017, it was the leader of the government's first formal visit since October.
Read more: Talks with Sweden, Finland on NATO membership bid pointless: Turkey FM
The Swedish government has failed to extradite terrorists to Turkey, according to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, and because of this, Ankara cannot support Sweden's application for NATO membership.
Following the outbreak of the Ukraine war, Sweden and Finland both submitted applications to join NATO last year. However, their bids for accession require the unanimous approval of all 30 NATO member states to be considered. Turkey is one of the two remaining countries that have not approved the applications.
Read more: Finland hopes to join NATO with Sweden despite Erdogan remarks: FM
After a series of provocative moves against Turkey, which included granting permission for the leader of the Danish party to burn a copy of the Quran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, as well as the pro-Kurdish protest where an effigy of President Erdogan was hanged in Stockholm, Ankara has expressly rejected Sweden's application to join NATO. Finland, on the contrary, which forbids infringements on religious harmony, was promised a speedy admission to NATO.