Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, amid deteriorating relations between Stockholm and Ankara, said he hoped to return to a working dialogue with Turkey on NATO membership.
Sweden-Turkey relations deteriorated due to the recent burning of the Quran by Danish far-right party Stram Kurs leader Rasmus Paludan, who obtained permission from the Swedish authorities to carry out the provocative action. After that, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sweden should not count on Turkish support for the application to join NATO.
“I want to return to the working dialogue again… I want to call for calm in this process. Sweden, Finland and Turkey concluded a trilateral agreement. Everything is going well. But it is clear that we do not like everything in the same manner,” Kristersson told reporters.
He said he does not believe the Turkish president “shut the door” on the issue of the kingdom’s membership in NATO.
Earlier, Kristersson condemned the burning of the Quran near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, calling it an unacceptable act of disrespect, but noted that the law was not violated.