Duvar English/Anadolu Agency
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that he is confident that a solution will be found to a dispute between the alliance and Turkey regarding a defense plan.
Ankara’s refusal to back a NATO defense plan for the Baltics and Poland created tensions between the country and the alliance, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saying that Turkey will oppose the plan if the alliance fails to designate the People’s Protection Units (YPG) as a terrorist organization.
“I’m confident that we will be able to also find a solution to the issue related to the updating the revised defense plans,” Stoltenberg said on Dec. 4.
“We have plans in place to protect all NATO allies, including, of course, the Baltic countries and Poland. And more than that, we have not only plans but also forces. And for the first time in our history, we have combat troops deployed to the Baltic region,” he added.
Stoltenberg also said he spoke to Erdoğan and was working on a solution to the matter.
Relations between Turkey and its NATO allies have been strained over a host of issues, ranging from Ankara’s decision to procure Russian air defense systems to Syria policy.
Turkey sees the YPG as terrorists due to the group being the Syrian arm of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – a group designated as a terrorist organization by Ankara, Washington and the European Union.
The incursion was slammed by Turkey’s Western allies, mainly because the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was Washington’s main ally in the fight against ISIS.
Stoltenberg on Dec. 4 also praised NATO for being active, agile and adaptive to new circumstances.
“NATO is the most successful alliance in history because we have been able to change again and again, when the world is changing,” he said.