Pompeo: 'Unfortunate' if Turkey decides to leave NATO

By On November 01, 2018

Pompeo: 'Unfortunate' if Turkey decides to leave NATO

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan should resist any temptation to leave NATO in pursuit of Russian friendship, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday.

“It would be unfortunate for NATO; it’d be unfortunate for the United States, and I think even more unfortunate for the people of Turkey if that were to become the case,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told radio show host Tony Katz.

Pompeo was responding specifically the issue of Erdogan’s “Eastern-looking” foreign policy, at a time when leaders around the world are concerned about the Turkish president’s outreach to Russian President Vladimir Putin. When asked if the United States is approaching “a moment where Turkey’s future as a NATO nation and as an ally comes into question,” he was uncertain.

“I hope not,” Pompeo replied. “We are ho peful that Turkey and President Erdogan will come to understand the U.S. is a better partner than Iran, and the direction that President Erdogan ought to go is to support deeper relationships with the United States and with Europe and with NATO.”

Erdogan and the Iranian regime represent different historic power centers of the Islamic world, but they have found common cause in support for the Palestinians against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a time when Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations have moved to forge “new friendships” with Israel. Turkey also imports Iranian oil, while Erdogan has hosted diplomatic summits with Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

“They have been an important NATO partner,” Pompeo said in May. “We need their behavior to reflect the objectives of NATO, and that’s what we’re diligently working to do: to get them to rejoin NATO, in a way, with their actions, consistent with what we’r e trying to achieve in NATO. And not take actions that undermine its efforts.”

Concurrently, Erdogan’s overtures to Putin have raised the possibility that Turkey will deploy advanced Russian-made anti-aircraft weapons systems, over the objections of NATO allies who fear that Russia will gain insight into western military capabilities.

“So, Putin, looking at this says, 'We're going to facilitate that breakup,’” Florida Rep. Ted Yoho, a Republican member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Washington Examiner in a recent interview.

Source: Google News Turkey | Netizen 24 Turkey

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