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Ceturtdiena 02.04.2020 | Name days: Imgarde, Irmgarde

NATO leaders meet in spite of tension to discuss security challenges

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NATO, France, USA, Turkey, Britain, Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Boris Johnson In spite of ongoing rows, leaders of NATO member states met near London on Wednesday, 4 December, to discuss important topics like cyber security and strategic challenges created by China, BBC reports.

The summit dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the alliance’s foundation was also overshadowed by topics like defence expenditures, something the US administration has voiced concerns on numerous occasions, as well as Turkey’s relations with other member states.

Prior to leaving for the summit, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan affirmed that as part of NATO his country will continue blocking the expanded defence plan’s approval for Baltics and Poland for as long as the alliance does not recognize the Kurdish militants in Syria as terrorist organizations.

Meanwhile other NATO member states’ leaders object to this. This is partially because Kurdish forces have assisted in the fight against ISIS.

Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian missile defence systems has also complicated relations with NATO.

Read also: Turkey upholds veto against NATO Baltic defence plans; Lithuania hopes for compromise

It is also hoped that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will remind member states that NATO is essentially each member state’s commitment to protect one another, and this cooperation helps keep nearly one billion people safe.

The summit was planned to take place on the day of anniversary of the military alliance was intended to demonstrate the unity of NATO member states. Nevertheless, it did not help hide the fractured state of the alliance, BBC reports.

Although no one doubts the future of NATO, there is no unity over Turkey’s activities in northern parts of Syria, defence expenditures and French President Emmanuel Macron’s statements about NATO being «brain dead».

On Tuesday, 3 December, Trump and Macron exchanged sharp words over NATO’s role, Turkey and ISIS. Relations between the two leaders are impacted by conflicts with tariffs and trade between France and USA, as well as Macron’s statements about NATO.


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