ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey has indefinitely canceled a meeting of a trilateral mechanism with Sweden and Finland, scheduled for next month, following a weekend protest in Stockholm that angered officials. ‘Ankara, state television TRT reported on Tuesday.
Citing Turkish diplomatic sources, TRT said the meeting was originally scheduled to be held in Brussels next month but was canceled at Turkey’s request.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was also expected to attend the meeting, according to an announcement made this month by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman.
A source in the Turkish presidency said that Ankara had not canceled but postponed the meeting, without specifying when it should now be held.
The services of Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to make an official comment on the holding or not of this meeting.
A demonstration on Saturday in Stockholm against Turkey and against joining NATO has fueled tensions between Sweden and Turkey, the first named needing the green light from the second to join the transatlantic Alliance – the 30 member countries must give their consent for any new membership.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Monday that Sweden should not expect Turkey’s support for its NATO membership, citing the demonstration in the Swedish capital during which a copy of the Koran was burned.
Sweden and Finland asked last year to join NATO, a shift in their security policy in the context of the invasion launched by Russia in Ukraine.
(Report Huseyin Hayatsever and Orhan Coskun; French version Jean Terzian, edited by Tangi Salaün)
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