A “time-out” is needed in Finland and Sweden’s talks with Turkey about joining NATO, Helsinki’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has said, the BBC reports.
A series of protests in Sweden, including the burning of a Quran, have angered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in recent days.
As Turkey is already a member of NATO, it can block applications to join.
Mr Haavisto said that the demonstrations had clearly put “brake on the progress” of the negotiations.
Turkey said the Swedish government’s decision not to prevent Rasmus Paludan, a politician from the Danish far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party, from burning a copy of Islam’s holy book in public was “completely unacceptable.”
Talks between the countries have stalled over a number of issues – including Turkey’s demands that the Nordic nations deport those it views as terrorists – and look to be on hold until after Turkish elections in mid-May.
But Mr Haavisto insisted that the Nordic countries would join the bloc together, and that he saw no need to rush negotiations.
Sweden should not expect Turkey to back its Nato membership bid, Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, days after a copy of the Quran was burned in a Stockholm protest.
“Sweden should not expect support from us for Nato,” Erdogan said in response.
“It is clear that those who caused such a disgrace in front of our country’s embassy can no longer expect any benevolence from us regarding their application.”