Quran protests burn Sweden’s NATO dream; Turkey cancels crucial meet 

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Sweden’s NATO accession attempt has been badly hit by the “Quran burning” controversy. A protest by Swedish extremist leader Rasmus Paludan in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm has brought the country’s strained ties with Ankara to a near dead end. Turkey calls the Swedish government’s permission for a protest at which the holy Quran was burned by an extremist leader a “clear provocation.”

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The Swedish Prime Minister has apologised for the “deeply disrespectful act.” However, Sweden’s chances of joining NATO appear to have been ruined by the “vile” protest. Massive protests have now erupted in Istanbul outside the Swedish consulate. The “enraged” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has even cancelled Swedish Defence Minister Pal Jonson’s scheduled visit to Ankara on January 27.

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