Sweden, Türkiye, and NATO: Rational choices leading to a breakdown in negotiations?

Sweden’s NATO application looks as if it is on the cusp of derailing once more after 21 August comments from Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In the context of Sweden’s NATO application, Erdoğan asserted that “Sweden must first of all take care of the streets of Stockholm. If they don’t take care of their streets, if these attacks on the things we hold sacred continue, then they shouldn’t blame us”. This statement follows a summer of Qur’an burnings that have soured Sweden’s relations with most of the Muslim world, Türkiye included, severely increased the risk of terror attacks on Sweden and motivated direct threats by militant Islamist groups. 


Enhancing the EU Partnership with Japan: A Fundamental Actor in the Indo-Pacific Region

The European Union (EU) has recently increased its focus on the Indo-Pacific region due to its commercial and military importance. The Joint Communication of the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, issued in September 2021, is significant proof of the EU’s interest in this part of the world and presents the EU strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. This cooperation, as illustrated by the Communication, takes various forms, including completing trade agreements or resuming trade negotiations with several states in the area (including Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines), reinforcing the EU’s support in fields such as the healthcare system and fisheries management, and enhancing naval deployment by EU Member States (MS) to protect sea lines of communication and freedom of navigation (European Commission & High Representative, 2021).

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