NATO allies say Turkey still blocking defense plans for Poland, Baltic states: report

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US Defence Secretary James Mattis (C) walks with US Army personnel across a NATO logo as he arrives at Resolute Support headquarters in the Afghan capital Kabul on April 24, 2017. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit April 24, an American defence official confirmed, hours after his Afghan counterpart resigned over a deadly Taliban attack. Mattis, making his first visit to Afghanistan as Pentagon chief, was due to meet top officials including President Ashraf Ghani less than two weeks after the US dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb on Islamic State hideouts in the country's east. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN ERNST

Turkey continues to block NATO defense plans for Poland and Baltic states despite a deal in London last year between Turkey’s president and allied leaders, three allied diplomats and a French defense official said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Diplomats said while Ankara has approved the plan, known as Eagle Defender, it has not allowed NATO military chiefs to put it into action.

“Turkey is refusing to accept these plans unless we recognize the PYD/PKK as a terrorist entity,” referring to Syrian and Turkish Kurdish groups that Ankara regards as dangerous rebels. “We say no. We need to show solidarity for eastern allies, and it’s not acceptable to block these plans.”

Turkish Minute

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