Turkey cancels visit of Swedish defense minister

Turkey cancels visit of Swedish defense minister

Turkey has canceled a visit by Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson scheduled for January 27. The reason given was that the Swedish authorities approved a protest event planned for today near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, at which a Koran will be burned.

Jonson’s visit to Turkey was meaningless, so it was cancelled, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said. It was unacceptable that nothing had been done about this protest. “Measures should have been taken.”

Jonson played down the cancellation of his visit. “Yesterday I met my Turkish colleague Hulusi Akar at the US military airfield in Ramstein, Germany,” he tweeted on Saturday. “We decided to postpone the planned meeting in Ankara to a later date.”

Sweden’s defense minister was in Ankara to discuss Sweden’s candidacy for NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Turkey, which is a member of the alliance, has been blocking Sweden’s membership for months. One of the conditions it demands is that the country no longer tolerates people Ankara considers terrorists, but extradites them. Sweden denies harboring extremists.