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Swedish Prime Minister Says Quran-Burning Hurt Country's Image Abroad

© AP Photo / Burhan OzbiliciSweden's new prime minister, Ulf Kristersson, speaks to the media
Sweden's new prime minister, Ulf Kristersson, speaks to the media  - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.02.2023
ZURICH (Sputnik) - Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson admitted on Thursday that the Quran-burning protest in Stockholm had tarnished the nation’s image abroad and hurt its dialogue with Turkey.
"Events and actions that took place in Sweden in recent weeks complicated the close and respectful dialogue with Turkey," he said adding that sporadic protests had "consequences for Sweden’s image abroad."
Turkey - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.01.2023
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Kristersson said that the burning of a copy of the holy Muslim book had harmed Sweden’s business ties and its national security interests and urged Swedes to remain calm in order to smooth out the country’s path to NATO.
The prime minister spoke after hosting his Finnish counterpart, Sanna Marin, in Stockholm. It was the first official visit of the head of government since he took office in October.
Sweden and Finland are seeking to enter the NATO military alliance together as neighbors, but Turkey now says that door is closed to Sweden. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was angered by the Quran-burning, which he described as a "hate crime," as well as by a mock execution of an effigy in his likeness. Finland, which prohibits violations of religious peace, was promised a quick entry to NATO.
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