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NATO chief urges Turkey to let Nordic pair join quickly


ANKARA (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is urging Turkey to ratify the applications of Finland and Sweden to join the military organization. He says the Nordic neighbors have done enough to satisfy Ankara’s demands that they crack down on extremism. Stoltenberg also condemned the burning of the Muslim holy book at a protest in Sweden but said this is not illegal in Europe. Alarmed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago, Finland and Sweden abandoned decades of nonalignment and applied to join NATO. But Turkey is blocking and rhetoric is high ahead of elections due for May. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday that his government “has not yet seen the concrete steps we want” from Sweden.

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