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NATO at 70: Internal Tensions, External Threats as Leaders Set to Gather

LONDON - NATO leaders are preparing to gather in London for a two-day meeting Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the alliance, but growing tensions among members could overshadow the celebrations.

The war in Syria and the ongoing Russian threat will serve as the backdrop to the summit. Fellow NATO members the United States and Turkey came close to confrontation in northern Syria last month, rattling the alliance.

"The position of Turkey in the North Atlantic alliance is a difficult one," said Jonathan Eyal of the Royal United Services Institute in London in an interview with VOA this week.

"Turkey's decision to become involved in military operations in the Middle East against the wishes of most of its allies, including the United States, [and] Turkey's decision to buy Russian military equipment … [are] riling with many countries in Europe."

NATO members say it's better to have Turkey inside than outside the alliance. "NATO is about European security, it's not about coordinating policies in the Middle East," Eyal said.

Where American troops once kept the peace, Russian forces now patrol northern Syria. The U.S. withdrawal has fueled concerns over America's commitment to NATO. French President Emmanuel Macron recently called the alliance "brain dead" and urged Europe to create its own security architecture.


Aliqismet BADALOV,
“Khalq qazeti”

29 November 2019 10:04 -

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