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Turkey spoils the party mood at NATO summit

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Turkey spoils the party mood at NATO summit


Even the best laid plans for a NATO summit can go awry – as the leaders attended a working dinner last night, Turkey suddenly become a party spoiler. Ankara blocked Europe’s candidate for the alliance’s next secretary-general.

Denmark’s prime minister was all set to assume the mantel but Turkey voiced criticism over his handling of a row concerning some Prophet Mohammed cartoons. Talks will now have to continue into day two of the summit. NATO may be celebrating its 60th anniversary, but President Barack Obama was asked about its future. He said: “If NATO becomes everything then it’s nothing.So obviously we are going to have to define and clarify its roles and responsibilities for the 21st century and what we should expect is that we will set up a process in order to do that.” Cultural pleasures apart (the leaders were treated to a classical music concert) it is European support for the US president’s new Afghan strategy which will be music to his ears – so far neither France or Germany has promised more troops. That along with Russian objections to the alliance’s encroachment on its borders and new “wanabee” members means any musical interlude will have been a welcome relief ahead of today’s packed agenda.

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