Published: December 03, 2019
ISTANBUL - Turkey will block NATO plans for the defense of Poland and Baltic countries if allies will not recognize as terrorists Syrian-Kurdish YPG militias, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said before leaving for the NATO summit in London.
''We will gather and discuss the matter with pleasure. But if terrorist organizations against which we fight are not recognized by NATO's friends as terrorist groups, I am sorry but we will be against all the steps that will be taken'' in defense towards Russia, said Erdogan, explaining that he already discussed the issue in talks with Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Allegations on Ankara's veto against a new defense plan on the eastern front had already emerged recently, if a statement to describe Kurdish militias as a ''threat'' for the security of Turkey and the Alliance won't be accepted.
Turkey expressed strong dismay over the lack of support or explicit opposition towards the military offensive launched in October against YPG forces in northeastern Syria.
Regarding tensions with Greece, Erdogan said Turkey doesn't intend to question the controversial agreement on maritime ''military and security cooperation'' signed last week in Istanbul with the prime minister of the UN-backed Libyan national unity government, Fayez al-Sarraj, which would give Ankara control over a wide portion of the central and eastern Mediterranean, claimed by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt.
''This step'', said the head of State, is a ''sovereign right of Turkey and Libya'' which Ankara ''does not intend to discuss''. Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced he would be raising the issue at the summit.
Details of the agreement between Ankara and Tripoli have not been released yet but, according to media reports, the pact would extend by about one-third the Turkish control over crucial areas for possible offshore hydrocarbon extractions. source