Talks with Sweden, Finland on NATO membership bid pointless: Turkey FM
Following a series of provocative moves against Turkey, diplomatic relations with Ankara have fell to all-time lows.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that the trilateral mechanism which involves Turkey, Sweden, and Finland on NATO membership has been postponed because Ankara sees no benefit in it at present.
The negotiations were scheduled to take place next month, according to reports citing Turkish diplomatic sources, but they were postponed last Tuesday upon Ankara's request.
Following a series of provocative moves against Turkey which included granting permission for the leader of the Danish far-right party Stram Kurs, Rasmus Paludan, to burn a copy of the Quran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, diplomatic relations with Ankara have fallen to all-time lows.
On January 23, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "If you allow such actions, then do not be offended, but you will not receive support from us on the issue of joining NATO. The Swedish leadership should not expect our support."
"Under these circumstances, trilateral talks are pointless. What is the essence of the mechanism? To comply with the terms of the memorandum punctually. But the current situation is unlikely to create a healthy atmosphere necessary for negotiations. Sweden has not taken serious steps to fulfill the terms of the memorandum, citing various reasons, like changing laws, and the constitution. Therefore, there is no point in the mechanism now," Cavusoglu said at a press conference with his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dacic, in Ankara.
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Sweden's recent and continuous failures first began with a doll representing Erdogan being hanged in Stockholm during a pro-Kurdish protest, which the Swedish Foreign Ministry condemned after calling the protest "provocative".
The second came when MP Akersson labeled the Turkish president as an 'Islamist dictator'. He told Swedish media: "You can't go too far. Because it is ultimately an anti-democratic system we are dealing with," as he added that Sweden should not give in to Turkey's demands too much while rejecting Erdogan as a popularly elected leader. "I am party leader of the anti-Islamist Sweden Democrats and have strong views on an Islamist dictator like Erdogan," he stated.
The third involved the burning of the Quran by Rasmus Paludan.
Yesterday, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson spoke about the urgent necessity of mending pieces with Turkey and stressed the "seriousness" of the matter, saying, "This is real. It is the worst thing we have experienced since World War II... No national security issue is more important than that we and Finland quickly become members of NATO."
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