Right-wing Quran burning in Sweden enrages Turkey and throws a new wrench in Nordics’ NATO bid

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It’s now been eight months since Sweden and Finland declared their intent to join NATO, a move that upended the countries’ longstanding policies of nonalignment following nearby Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

While most of the organization’s members want to fast-track the new joiners’ memberships, tensions and a fresh spat between Sweden and Turkey threaten to extend that waiting time — perhaps indefinitely.

All 30 of NATO’s current states need to approve a new member. And Turkey, a key geopolitical player and home to the alliance’s second-largest military, stands as the primary vocal opponent to the Nordic countries’ membership.

The reasons behind Ankara’s opposition are complex, but center mainly on Sweden’s support for Kurdish groups that Turkey considers to be terrorists, and on weapons embargoes that both Sweden and Finland, along with other EU countries, put on Turkey for its targeting of Kurdish militias in Syria.




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