Indonesia summons Swedish ambassador over Koran burning

AFP/The Local
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Indonesia summons Swedish ambassador over Koran burning
Police and reporters outside Turkey's embassy where a far-right activist burned a copy of the Koran, sparking diplomatic tension with several countries. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden's ambassador to Indonesia was summoned as fury over a far-right activist's burning of the Koran in Stockholm – a move aimed at provoking Turkey – continued to spill over to more countries.


Swedish-Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan on Saturday torched a copy of the Islamic holy book in front of Turkey's embassy in the Swedish capital, stoking the anger of Ankara which said it would not support the Scandinavian country's bid for Nato membership.

Sweden's ambassador to Indonesia, Marina Berg, was summoned as Jakarta lodged an official complaint against the anti-Islamic act, Indonesian foreign ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah told AFP.

"Yes, [we will meet her] within this week," Faizasyah said, without disclosing a date.


The Swedish embassy confirmed Berg would hold a meeting with an official from Indonesia's foreign ministry, without specifying the day it would take place.

Swedish leaders have roundly condemned Paludan's actions but defended their country's broad definition of free speech.

Paludan's burning of the Koran sparked rallies outside Swedish missions in several countries, including Turkey and Iraq, where protesters torched the Swedish flag on Monday and a policeman and seven protesters were injured.

Ankara on Saturday called off a visit by Swedish Defence Minister Pål Jonson, which had been scheduled for January 27th, after summoning the Swedish ambassador and saying the meeting "has lost its significance and meaning".

Paludan, who has already been convicted of racist abuse, provoked rioting in Sweden last year when he went on a tour of the country during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and publicly burned copies of the Koran.


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