ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey approved a NATO defence plan for the Baltics and Poland after some allies demanded support, President Tayyip Erdogan was cited as saying on Thursday, adding that allies must not abandon Ankara in its fight against terror.
Reuters reported last week that Turkey was refusing to back the defence plan until its allies provided support for Ankara’s battle against the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, after a U.S. decision to withdraw support from a separate defence plan for Turkey.
Erdogan said ahead of the summit that Ankara would block the plan until allies recognised groups that Turkey deems terrorist organisations. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at the end of the summit that allies had not discussed the YPG and that Turkey had lifted its block on the plan. [nL8N28D0RS] [nL9N26V03R]
Speaking to reporters in London after a NATO summit, where the leaders of Turkey, France, Germany and Britain held separate talks on Syria, Erdogan said the four leaders would meet again in Istanbul in February. He said all four leaders had agreed to hold talks at least once a year from now on.
(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay)