Turkey blocks Austria's cooperation with NATO

  • Umay Atik
  • 17.3.2017 19:45

Austrian Defence Ministry spokesman Stefan Hirsch confirmed on 15 March that Turkey's blockade of Austria’s cooperation programmes with NATO began several months ago, when Austria demanded that Turkey's EU accession talks end completely. NATO urged both countries to solve bilateral issues.

Although this has not affected missions in the Western Balkans, it can cause problems in the long-term as Austria participates in training missions in Kosovo, Hirsch said. Some events have already been cancelled, sources claimed. The blockade would affect all the partner countries and the interoperability of NATO allies with their partners, NATO officials added. Other non-member partners, such as Sweden and Finland, warned NATO General-Secretary that Turkey's actions can have serious repercussions by reducing armies' ability to operate and train jointly. However, a spokeswoman for Turkey's mission to NATO said on 16 March that the blockade only targets Austria and not other partners. This came at a time of increasingly tense relations between Turkey and EU countries, especially Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.

 

 

 

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