Turkey says no change in objection to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation plan on Baltics

Nellie Chapman
December 4, 2019

"NATO is the most successful alliance in history because we have been able to change again and again, when the world is changing", said Jens Stoltenberg in a doorstep statement while heading to today's meetings.

US President Donald Trump has entered a war of words between his French and Turkish counterparts, saying Emmanuel Macron's remark that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was "brain dead" was "very, very nasty" and "disrespectful".

The dispute, as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation prepares to hold its 70th anniversary summit, is a sign of deep divisions between Ankara and Washington over everything from the war in Syria to Turkey's growing defence relationship with Russian Federation. "And sometimes they work with IS proxies", Macron said at a London news conference with US President Donald Trump.

As Macron casts doubts on NATO, he has been thinking out loud about his plans for a European Union army to replace the organisation.

"So I think the first thing to do is to regain military sovereignty".

His German partner, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is set to leave politics in 2021 and left her party's leadership post a year ago, is not so sure about Macron's strategy.

'We have tripled the size of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defence force which can be reinforced if needed, invested in high end capabilities, stepped up in the fight against terrorism with a new training mission in Iraq and European allies are investing more in defence'.

She criticised Macron's "brain dead" comment as "sweeping judgments" and found them unnecessary under current circumstances.

The YPG's fighters have always been United States and French allies on the ground against Daesh in Syria.

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"NATO must act in a way that will meet the concerns of all allies".

Erdogan responded with: "What is your business in Syria?"

"We will not debate this sovereign right with you. There is no other way".

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders will attempt to make a convincing show of unity on Wednesday when they meet to conclude a summit already overshadowed by bitter rows about the future of the alliance.

"You know how to show off but you can not even properly pay for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

"I discussed this with President Erdogan last night and we are working on the issue as we speak".

Trump cited in particular Germany as falling short, spending only 1.2 percent of GDP. By the end of 2024, that figure is expected to rise to $400 billion, said Stoltenberg, who credited Trump with pushing members to spend more on defense.

Turkey has recently increased its defence spending significantly to keep in line with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defence spending requirements.

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