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17 Jun, 2020 15:11

Erdogan blocking ‘Eagle Defender’ plan for Poland & Baltics, despite agreement – NATO sources

Erdogan blocking ‘Eagle Defender’ plan for Poland & Baltics, despite agreement – NATO sources

Ankara continues to block a NATO defense plan for Poland and Baltic states, despite a deal last year between Turkey’s president and allied leaders, Reuters quoted three diplomats and a French defense official as saying on Wednesday. They said while Ankara has approved the ‘Eagle Defender’ plan, it has not allowed NATO military chiefs to put it into action.

Turkey is refusing to accept the plan “unless we recognize the PYD/PKK as a terrorist entity,” the French defense official said, referring to Syrian and Turkish Kurdish groups. At a NATO summit in December, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly agreed with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and other allied leaders to drop such demands.

A French defense ministry official on Wednesday reportedly accused the Turkish navy of harassing a French warship on a NATO mission. A senior Turkish official denied the accusation, saying “no such thing” had occurred.

NATO defense ministers are due to meet on Wednesday and Thursday via secure video call, and France wants “a frank discussion about Turkey and its conduct,” including in Libya.