The claims of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg against Turkey because of the refusal to support Sweden’s application to join the North Atlantic Alliance in connection with the scandal with the burning of the Koran at the Turkish embassy in Stockholm are untenable. This was stated by the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.
She recalled that Stoltenberg criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that “inappropriate actions are not automatically illegal”
“He is about burning the Koran. Brave claim. Let’s remember, ”Zakharova wrote in Telegram.
The diplomat stressed that respect for religious views is an obligation, not an optional one.
“The international community has repeatedly assumed obligations to counteract intolerance and discrimination,” Zakharova said.
In particular, she listed the 1965 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, the 2010 Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education of the year.
“These documents explicitly state that the right to freedom of expression does not include the right to make critical or even disparaging remarks about any religion or religious practice,” she wrote.
She wondered why the NATO Secretary General does not know this.
“Because the West appoints illiterate people to key positions in the European direction – it is easier to manage them, thus manipulating the majority of Europeans,” Zakharova said.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the action of burning the Koran in Stockholm.
On January 22, the deputy head of the ruling Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP), Numan Kurtulmus, said that Ankara expects Stockholm to strictly fulfill all obligations to counter terrorism, which are stipulated by the memorandum signed with it.
Before that, protesters in Turkey burned the Swedish flag at the country’s Consulate General in Istanbul in response to a provocation with the Koran in Stockholm.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that the action of burning the Koran in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm is an act of disrespect towards Muslims.