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NATO’s reform plan to make veto more difficult likely to be blocked by Turkey

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NATO-appointed experts on Wednesday presented to the foreign ministers of member countries a plan on reforming the alliance, including a proposal to make it more difficult for individual countries to block NATO decisions, a move likely to be opposed by Turkey, the DPA news agency reported.

The expert committee was established in the spring of 2020 shortly after French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with The Economist that there had been a lack of coordination between NATO partners in important decisions about security policy and that the alliance had “brain death.”

According to Deutsche Welle’s Turkish edition, the experts also proposed inviting non-NATO-member EU states to NATO summits and holding these summits not only at the Brussels headquarters but also in member states.

According to sources cited by DPA, however, the proposals are unlikely to be adopted since Turkey and Hungary will not agree to complicating the exercise of the right to veto.

Ankara had blocked Austria’s participation in joint NATO programs over political tensions with Vienna back in 2017.

Turkey will most probably veto the suggestion to invite non-NATO EU states to alliance summits since Ankara does not recognize EU member Cyprus as the sole government on the island.

Turkey intervened in Cyprus in 1974 over fighting between Cypriot Greeks and Turks and helped establish a breakaway state in the north of the island, recognized only by Ankara.

Turkey’s relations with NATO countries have been strained over a host of issues such as Ankara’s acquisition of a Russian made S-400 air defense system and its search for hydrocarbons in disputed waters of the eastern Mediterranean to which NATO member Greece also lays claim.

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