Sweden’s NATO Bid in Doubt After Erdogan Refuses Support

(Bloomberg) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled out supporting Sweden’s bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after an activist burned Islam’s holy

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Reversal Turkish parliamentary approval is required for the membership, so Erdogan’s comments suggest Sweden and neighboring Finland’s efforts to join NATO are now a more

distant prospect. “If you cannot show this respect, then sorry but you will not see any support from us on the NATO issue,” Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting in Ankara

Monday, without indicating whether or not that meant the door for negotiation was now closed. Turkey Cancels Swedish Minister Visit in Fresh Koran Tension “Those who

promote and turn a blind eye to this perversion have undoubtedly taken into account its consequences,” he said.  All but two of NATO’s 30 members have ratified the Nordic

applications, and Hungary has said it plans to do so at the opening of parliament next month. That would leave Turkey as the lone holdout to the expansion, which NATO diplomats

had hoped to finalize in time for the alliance’s summit in Vilnius in July. Turkey is sensitive about any hostile act toward Islam, and the president is looking to

strengthen support from nationalists and the religiously conservative ahead of elections slated for May.