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UK News Turkey threatens to block NATO plan on summit eve

12:20  03 december  2019
12:20  03 december  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Trump to meet Macron, Merkel at NATO summit

  Trump to meet Macron, Merkel at NATO summit WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of next week’s NATO summit in London. The summit comes at a critical moment for the 29-member military alliance, which has been fraying in the face of Trump’s complaints that too many NATO members are spending too little on defense. Trump also has meetings scheduled during the summit with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte.The summit is scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday.Trump has no meeting scheduled, as of now, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the summit host.

By Robin Emmott. LONDON (Reuters) - Turkey will oppose a NATO plan to defend Baltic countries unless the alliance backs it in recognising a Kurdish militia as a terrorist group, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday ahead of an alliance summit in London.

Erdogan now threatens to block a NATO defense plan that Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania want passed. Turkey wants NATO to support its fight against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), including designating the group a terrorist organization , before it signs off on plans to defend

a sign on the side of a building: Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of new NATO headquarters during the move to the new building © Reuters/YVES HERMAN Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of new NATO headquarters during the move to the new building

By Robin Emmott

LONDON (Reuters) - Turkey will oppose a NATO plan to defend Baltic countries unless the alliance backs it in recognising a Kurdish militia as a terrorist group, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday ahead of an alliance summit in London.

The threat underlined the mounting challenges to a bloc hailed by backers as the most successful military alliance in history just as its leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, gather in London to celebrate its 70th anniversary.

Boris Johnson will NOT hold official talks with Donald Trump despite President being in the UK for Nato summit after fears it would tarnish his election bid

  Boris Johnson will NOT hold official talks with Donald Trump despite President being in the UK for Nato summit after fears it would tarnish his election bid The prospect of Donald Trump's visit has been a nightmare for Tory strategists, who fear that one misplaced comment or Tweet could damage Boris Johnson's electoral fortunes.Mr Trump arrived in the UK tonight ahead of a two-day summit of Nato leaders, starting tomorrow.

Originally, the London summit was intended to highlight the massive NATO military buildup that is underway, recklessly targeting major nuclear-armed The Defender 2020 military exercise planned for early next year will not only see a NATO naval flotilla steam to the South China Sea, but above all a

Ahead of the summit , Nato Chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Russia the alliance is ready to respond to any attack on Poland or the Baltic countries. But Turkey on Tuesday said it would oppose Nato 's plan for the defence of Baltic countries if the alliance does not recognise as “terrorists” groups that Turkey

Turkey's defiance will only add to doubts over the political future of NATO, already described by French President Emmanuel Macron as "brain dead" and undermined by Trump's questioning of the entire premise of his superpower defending the West.

Erdogan, who has strained alliance ties with a move to buy Russian air defence systems, repeated his threat to block a defence plan for the Baltics and Poland unless NATO steps up support for its fight in northeastern Syria against the Kurdish YPG militia.

"With pleasure, we can come together and discuss these issues there as well," Erdogan said of the Baltics plan ahead of his departure from Ankara for the NATO summit.

"But if our friends at NATO do not recognise as terrorist organisations those we consider terrorist organisations... we will stand against any step that will be taken there."

Nato turns 70: the biggest threats facing the alliance

  Nato turns 70: the biggest threats facing the alliance Trump hits back at Macron’s criticism of ‘brain dead’ military alliance as ‘very, very nasty’Under the Nato system of collective defence, the 29 member states pledge to come to the aid of one another in the event of attacks, yet tensions have been growing between a number of these supposed allies.

Turkey is the only country refusing to endorse them until agreement is reached on how to endorse a similar plan for Turkey . It contains Turkey 's much DEFENSE FUNDING. On the eve of the summit , NATO agreed to reduce the United States' contribution and increase other countries' contribution to

A Turkish security source told journalists on Monday that blocking certain plans to win concessions on other issues is a typical NATO tactic implemented by all Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, Turkey director at the Washington-based German Marshall Fund, said a solution during this summit was likely, considering

Erdogan added he had spoken to Polish President Andrzej Duda on the phone and had agreed to meet him and leaders of Baltic countries in London. Turkey, France, Germany and Britain are also expected to hold separate meetings around the summit.

In an interview with Reuters, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned Ankara that "not everybody sees the threats that they see", and he urged it, in the name of alliance unity, to stop blocking the Baltics plan.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed the mutual defence clause at the heart of the NATO pact, insisting it would respond to any attack on Poland or Baltic countries.

"Through the presence of NATO forces in Poland and in the Baltic countries, we are sending Russia a very strong signal: if there is an attack on Poland or the Baltic countries, the whole alliance will respond," Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, said in interviews with several European newspapers.

Trump criticises European allies ahead of NATO's 70th anniversary summit

  Trump criticises European allies ahead of NATO's 70th anniversary summit U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at European allies before a NATO anniversary summit in London on Tuesday, singling out France’s Emmanuel Macron for “very nasty” comments on the alliance and Germany for spending too little on defence. Underlining the breadth of strife in a transatlantic bloc hailed by its backers as the most successful military alliance in history, Trump demanded that Europe pay more for defence and also make concessions to U.S. interests on trade.The attack echoed a similar tirade by Trump ahead of NATO’s last summit in July 2018.

The NATO summit will be held on December 3 and 4 at the Grove Hotel in Watford, just outside London. None,” Macron told the Economist ahead of the summit . “You have an uncoordinated aggressive action by another NATO ally, Turkey , in an area where our interests are at stake.”

NATO envoys need formal approval by all 29 members for the plan to improve the defense of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia against any The dispute, as NATO prepares to hold its 70th anniversary summit , is a sign of deep divisions between Ankara and Washington over everything from the war in

"WAVING OR DROWNING?"

Queen Elizabeth will host the leaders at Buckingham Palace. But even the British hosts, for generations among the most enthusiastic champions of the trans-Atlantic partnership that NATO represents, are disunited over their project of quitting the EU and distracted by a rancorous election due next week.

“The question is, as we celebrate 70 years, are we waving in celebration or do people think we are drowning?” said a senior European NATO diplomat.

Stoltenberg argues that despite quarrels that have made headlines, the alliance is in fine health, having strengthened its capability to carry out its core mission of defending Europe following Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

"We are faced with a paradox," Stoltenberg told Reuters before the summit. "Yes we have some differences, but the reality is that we are doing more together than for many years."

Europe, Turkey and Canada will pledge $400 billion in defence spending by 2024, aiming to placate Trump who has long said U.S. allies need to spend more on the collective defence.

London NATO summit begins as tensions spike on either side of Atlantic

  London NATO summit begins as tensions spike on either side of Atlantic Donald Trump arrived in London on Tuesday ostensibly to celebrate 70 years of the NATO military alliance. But tensions on either side of the Atlantic have reached an acrimonious pitch, prompting the US president to defend the organisation he has long derided. Late last month, French president Emmanuel Macron described NATO as a “brain dead” alliance, noting that European members could no longer take the support of the US for granted. Trump, whoLate last month, French president Emmanuel Macron described NATO as a “brain dead” alliance, noting that European members could no longer take the support of the US for granted.

Turkey is not blackmailing NATO with its rejection of a defense plan for the Baltics and Poland, and has full veto rights within the alliance, a Turkish A diplomatic source told Reuters last week that Turkey was “taking eastern Europeans hostage” by blocking approval of the military planning , and a

NATO envoys need formal approval by all 29 members for the plan to improve the defense of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia against any The dispute, as NATO prepares to hold its 70th anniversary summit , is a sign of deep divisions between Ankara and Washington over everything from the war in

Leaders will also agree a new 2021-2024 budget that reduces the U.S. contribution to fund the alliance itself. They will approve a new strategy to monitor China's growing military activity for the first time, and name space as a domain of warfare, along with air, land, sea and computer networks.

France's Macron sent shivers through the alliance last month when he publicly questioned NATO's central tenet that an attack on one member is an attack against all.

His frustration over a U.S. decision to pull troops from Syria in October, thereby setting the stage for Turkey's unilateral offensive there against the YPG militia, prompted Macron to describe the alliance as "experiencing brain death", as he decried a lack of strategy.

A Franco-German proposal would create a group of eminent figures to consider the alliance's future political role, submitting a report by the next scheduled summit in late 2021.

Wariness of Russia may prove to be a unifying factor, diplomats said. Leaders will issue a statement condemning Moscow's Crimea annexation and its military build-up, recommitting to the alliance's collective defence pledge.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott in London, Ali Kucukgocmen in Istanbul, Joanna Plucinska in Warsaw; Writing by Mark John; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Trump calls Trudeau 'two-faced' at NATO summit as candid chat goes viral .
NATO leaders professed unity on Wednesday at a summit near London — but a spat over off-the-cuff chit chat at a royal reception rattled their show of solidarity. U.S. President Donald Trump branded the leader of America’s northern neighbor “two-faced” after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to gossip about Trump in comments caught on camera and microphone. Trudeau was seen standing in a huddle with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Britain’s Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, at Tuesday evening’s Buckingham Palace reception for NATO leaders.

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