NATO’s 70th anniversary marked by feuding that threatens alliance - Guardian

As NATO celebrates its 70th anniversary, the alliance is suffering from feuds, including a row between France and Turkey, that are threatening its future and further pushing it into irrelevance, the Guardian said in editorial on Saturday.

The leading actors of the 29-member alliance such as Germany and France are angry at east Europeans and Turks, respectively, while U.S. President Donald Trump is angry with almost everyone, the Guardian said.

The feuds arrive as the alliance prepares to convene on Dec. 3-4 for a summit in London.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday slammed French President Emmanuel Macron over his warning that NATO was dying, saying the French president should check whether he is “brain dead”. The statement prompted the French foreign ministry to summon Turkey’s ambassador to Paris in protest of what a French presidential adviser called insults.

Macron’s outburst was motivated by his frustration with Washington, which had not consulted in advance about withdrawing U.S. forces from north-east Syria, and Turkey’s subsequent offensive into the region targeting Kurdish forces, it said. 

Macron’s comments were met by NATO members with an outpouring of complacency, mixed with irritation, it added.

The French president has urged the alliance to find common ground with Russian President Vladimir Putin and not treat Moscow as a foe, according to the Guardian.

There is concern that the French leader may be advancing his vision of the EU as a major global power, able to stand up to China, the United States and Russia, at the expense of NATO, it said.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s recent moves, including its invasion of Syria targeting pro-western Kurds and risking gains made in the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS), have appalled fellow NATO members enough to call for Turkey’s expulsion from the alliance, the Guardian wrote.

It remains to be seen what will happen during a separate meeting planned between Erdoğan, Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

Regardless of the outcome, this week’s summit is sure to deliver a 70th birthday for NATO to remember.