US declares Finland and Sweden ready to join NATO

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Monday Finland and Sweden were ready to join NATO, after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Sweden should not be expected to join NATO. Turkey’s support for joining after a protest near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm over the weekend, including the burning of a copy of the Koran.

State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that burning sacred books for many is a deeply disrespectful act, adding that “something can be lawful but ugly.”

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Kanishka Singh and Daphne Psaledakis

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