Sweden’s NATO process was paused, says FM
Stockholm, Jan 29 (IANS) Sweden’s Foreign Minister Tobias Billström has said that the country’s NATO process has been paused, local media reported.
– The events of the last few weeks have temporarily brought the process to a halt, Billström told Expressen, adding that the Swedish government was now investing energy and time to try to push the process forward.
Billström told Sweden’s Television on Saturday that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has put a lot of work into the recent weeks’ anger against Sweden, and that it may take a while for it (anti-Sweden sentiment) to subside after such a big event, Xinhua news agency reported.
Sweden suffered a major setback in its bid to join NATO after events earlier this month led to protests against the Turkish president and the burning of a copy of the Koran in Stockholm.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Sweden on Monday that it should not expect Ankara’s support to join NATO after the events. And a meeting between Turkey, Sweden and Finland planned for February had also been postponed indefinitely.
In a recent poll by the semi-official Anadolu agency, 92.5 percent of respondents in Turkey said no to Turkey accepting Sweden’s NATO bid, the news agency reported.