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Russian-Turkish relations are no alternative to ties with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, says Erdogan

04 December 2019

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.

Sitting alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump was asked whether he would issue sanctions on Turkey over the purchase of the S-400 missile system.

Several NATO members also condemned Turkey's decision to launch an offensive in northeastern Syria against the Kurdish group YPG. "Failure to do so is sending a awful signal to other countries that they can flout U.S. laws without effect", they said.

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday accused Turkish forces of sometimes working with fighters linked to the Islamic State group in its operation in northern Syria.

Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later came face to face at four-way talks with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain's Johnson.

Merkel said she was "relatively optimistic" after the meeting, but Macron warned that "not all clarifications were obtained and not all ambiguities were resolved".

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The issue is the latest source of friction between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, which have also been at loggerheads over Turkey's purchase of advanced Russian air defences, which Washington says are incompatible with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defences and pose a threat to Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 stealth fighter jets.

Stoltenberg said members did not discuss the YPG militia.

The leaders are to hold just one three-hour working session followed by a statement, and Johnson will make an appeal for unity.

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These include defining space as a domain of conflict - alongside land, sea, air and cyber space - as well as acknowledging for the first time the "challenges" posed by China's rise.

Russian-Turkish relations are no alternative to ties with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, says Erdogan