Brussels to host NATO summit in 2018, not Turkey

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrives for a meeting during the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit at the NATO headquarters, in Brussels, on May 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / THIERRY CHARLIER

The 2018 NATO summit is to be hosted at the Brussels headquarters of the Alliance and not in Turkey, whose proposal for which has been opposed by a group of European countries.

“I expect the 2018 summit will take place here in Brussels next summer,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters after a meeting at NATO headquarters.

German daily Die Welt reported at the end of May that Turkey’s proposal to host the summit was rejected by 18 European NATO member states including Germany, France, the Netherlands and Denmark, who opposed it after a downturn in relations between the EU and Ankara.

It was reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proposed hosting the 2018 biennial summit of NATO in Turkey during the summit in Warsaw in 2016 but that it was rejected.

Hüseyin Müftüoğlu, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has denied the allegations of being turned down and criticized Die Welt for portraying Turkey negatively.

“Contrary to the allegations of Die Welt, it is certainly not the case that our offer to host a NATO summit was rejected. Such groundless news articles aim to create a negative perception of our country,” said Müftüoğlu.

Tensions flared earlier this year when some European countries and cities prevented Turkish government officials from campaigning within their borders for a Turkish constitutional referendum designed to help boost Erdoğan’s powers.

In response, Erdoğan accused Europe of conducting “Nazi practices” and threatened to pull out of Turkey’s agreement with the EU designed to prevent migrants from reaching European shores.

The rift has grown further due to human rights abuses and a worsening democratic record in Turkey.

In addition, Turkey had also prevented German MPs from visiting German troops stationed at İncirlik Airbase in southern Turkey.

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