Turkiye cancels Sweden minister visit over protest

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Turkiye said on Saturday that it had called off a visit by Sweden’s defense minister over a planned anti-Turkiye protest in Stockholm.

“At this point, Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson’s visit to Turkiye on January 27 has lost its significance and meaning, so we canceled the visit,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said.

The Swedish minister visit was aimed at overcoming Ankara’s objections to Sweden’s bid to join the NATO military alliance.

Turkiye has been angered by permission obtained by a right-wing extremist to demonstrate later on Saturday in front of the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital.

The Danish-Swedish politician, Rasmus Paludan, whose anti-Islamist actions sparked riots across Sweden last year, has expressed his intention to “burn the Qur’an,” during his protest on Saturday.

Turkiye had on Friday summoned Sweden’s ambassador to “condemn this provocative action which is clearly a hate crime — in strongest terms,” a diplomatic source said.—Agencies