NATO chief urges Athens, Ankara to iron out differences
“At the end of the day, the lack of security agreements might put our personnel on the ground at risk,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
NATO’s new secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, urged Greece and Turkey this week to improve ties, stressing that their ongoing disputes are impeding the Alliance’s efforts in Afghanistan and Africa by putting ground troops at risk.
“I do not think we could allow a lack of security because of all these political disputes — we have to find pragmatic solutions,” Rasmussen said Thursday (August 27th).
Cyprus is at the core of tensions between the two neighbouring nations, both NATO members. Ankara does not recognise the Greek Cypriot-run part of the ethnically divided Mediterranean island, which joined the EU in May 2004, minus its Turkish Cypriot-controlled north.
In response, Turkey has prevented Cyprus’s inclusion in strategic co-operation between the EU and NATO, thus making it impossible for the Alliance to ensure adequate protection for the 27-nation Union’s trainers in Afghanistan.
“At the end of the day, the lack of security agreements might put our personnel on the ground at risk… It is a subject of real concern to me,” Rasmussen said.