World Turkey to oppose NATO plan if it fails to recognize terrorism threats: Erdogan

11:25  03 december  2019
11:25  03 december  2019 Source:   reuters.com

NATO Offers Trump a Budget Bonbon as Summit Nears

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Turkey expects solidarity within NATO against terror threats , President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday. Turkey will oppose NATO 's plan for the defense of Baltic countries if the alliance does not recognise groups that Turkey is fighting as terrorists .

The Turkish president reiterated his demand for NATO allies to support his country’s fight against Kurdish militias. Speaking ahead of a NATO gathering, he said Turkey ’s membership does not Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses lawmakers. ©Presidential Press Office via REUTERS.

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey will oppose NATO's plan for the defense of Baltic countries if the alliance does not recognize groups that Turkey deems terrorists, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, ahead of a NATO alliance summit in London.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Russian President Putin meets with Turkish President Erdogan in Sochi© Reuters/POOL New FILE PHOTO: Russian President Putin meets with Turkish President Erdogan in Sochi

Relations between Turkey and its NATO allies have been strained over a host of issues, ranging from Ankara's decision to procure Russian air defense systems to Syria policy. Several NATO members condemned Turkey's decision to launch an offensive into northeastern Syria against the Kurdish YPG militia.

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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 Macron has also criticized NATO ahead of the summit, saying the alliance was experiencing a “brain death”. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan lambasted

“Despite this, Turkey has contributed to various NATO missions with its second largest army in the organization . US defense chief calls on Turkey to stop holding up NATO readiness plan . Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vetoed a law Monday that would have delayed the installation of

Ankara has refused to back a NATO defense plan for the Baltics and Poland until it receives more support for its battle with the YPG, which it views as a terrorist organization.

Ahead of his departure from Ankara for the NATO summit, Erdogan said he had spoken to Polish President Andrzej Duda on the phone on Monday and had agreed to meet with him and leaders of Baltic countries in London to discuss the issue.

"With pleasure, we can come together and discuss these issues there as well," he said. "But if our friends at NATO do not recognize as terrorist organizations those we consider terrorist organizations ... we will stand against any step that will be taken there."

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Defence plan crisis. The Turkish government put a hold on NATO ’s Baltic defence plans last month. However, Turkish officials say they took this step only after the US and some European countries blocked the approval of a document that described the YPG as a threat to Turkey .

Turkish officials say the threat of U.S. sanctions won’t stop Ankara from Erdogan Undeterred. The White House still sees value in direct engagement with Turkey , according to a senior Erdogan has said that during the NATO summit, he will propose a donor conference to facilitate the return of Syrian

A Turkish security source said on Monday that Turkey is not "blackmailing" NATO with its rejection of the plans and that it has full veto rights within the alliance.

Turkey, France, Germany and the United Kingdom are expected to hold a separate meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit. Erdogan said they would mainly discuss Turkish plans to establish a safe zone in northeast Syria, which has until now been met with criticism from Ankara's European allies.

Separately, Turkey has been at odds with Greece and Cyprus over ownership of offshore natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean. Erdogan said he will also meet with the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in London.

(Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Tensions, disputes roil NATO alliance meetings in London; Trump cancels news conference .
NATO leaders gather in London amid public infighting between some of the military alliance's biggest member nations.Taking questions after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump called Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "two-faced," adding that he "called him out" on the fact that Canada is not spending 2% of its GDP on defense spending, as required by NATO rules. "I guess he's not very happy about it," Trump said.

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