France to summon Turkey’s ambassador after Erdogan slams Macron's NATO comments

Tuesday, 03 Dec, 2019

On Friday, Erdogan told Macron "you should check whether you are brain dead first" over the latter's recent comments about NATO's inability to prevent Turkey's Syria incursion.

"NATO is a collective defense organization, but against what or against who?" He said this includes Europe being involved in a new pact limiting mid-range nuclear missiles held by the USA and Russian Federation, after the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty collapsed in August.

On November 28, Macron stood by his comments after talks with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly accused European countries of failing to pay their way and will be looking for evidence they are stepping up defence spending. Today Erdoğan hit back, referencing Mr Macron's "brain death" comments about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation earlier this month.

While NATO's central budget is different from the member countries' foundational agreement to spend two-percent of their nation's gross domestic product on defense, the president's insistence that other members contribute more has provided tangible results. "But the European Union can not defend Europe; European unity can not replace transatlantic unity", he said.

"I want a discussion between allies on a concrete commitment to the fight against terrorism in the Sahel and the Middle East", the French president said.

"Otherwise, Macron will again hear similar insults and threats and will be obliged to swallow them", he said.

Erdogan was furious over Macron's statement saying "You should get checked whether you're brain dead".

"We are expecting president Erdogan to clarify", he added, Reuters reported.

Underscoring that France's forces were acting "on behalf of everyone", Macron said: "A bigger engagement by the allies is obviously something that would be quite positive". He said that the remarks had been a useful wake-up call to alliance members, and would not apologise.

But while there may be range of disagreements within NATO, Stoltenberg said the alliance has a long history of overcoming political disputes, such as the 2003 Iraq War when allies were able to look past differences.

Vladimir Putin sent to main European and Asian countries and global organisations a letter, suggesting a moratorium on the deployment of medium- and shorter-range missiles in Europe and other regions in September.

But the terrorists have failed to withdraw from some areas and continue to attack both soldiers and civilians.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization forecast higher military spending by USA allies before a summit where President Donald Trump may repeat a demand for Europe to foot more of the common security bill.

Stoltenberg is attempting to mollify Trump ahead of the summit by talking up a billion-dollar contract with USA plane-maker Boeing to upgrade the organization's reconnaissance planes.