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Pompeo Accuses Turkey of “Undermining” NATO Cohesion

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. File Photo

In a rare blunt message to the nation of Turkey, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had harsh words for the nation’s recent behavior, saying that it opposed the principles and operation of NATO and undermined its cohesion during the alliance’s Foreign Ministers’ teleconference on Tuesday.

Diplomatic sources said that during the teleconference, Pompeo used unusually blunt language to refer to not only Turkey’s recent “provocative” activities in the eastern Mediterranean, Libya, Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh; he added that last year’s Turkish acquisition of the S-400 missile system was a “gift to Russia” from a NATO ally.

He also reportedly said that the military “deconfliction mechanism” which had been agreed upon between Athens and Ankara in October is not working because of Turkey’s continued behavior.

The Secretary joined Allied foreign ministers today to discuss the challenges to Transatlantic security, including an evolving threat environment.

Over the next two days, the US State Department said in a press release that Secretary Pompeo will reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the NATO Alliance, which has ensured peace and prosperity for more than seven decades.

The Secretary and his counterparts from NATO and partner countries will highlight the Alliance’s successes and discuss current issues, including increasing joint security capabilities and reaffirm the centrality of our transatlantic values through the Forward-Looking Reflection Process for NATO 2030, strengthening the NATO mission in Iraq, and bolstering capabilities to meet future challenges such as cyber defense and global pandemics.

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