Germany, France, the Netherlands and Denmark have reportedly led a drive to block next year’s NATO leaders summit from taking place in Turkey, according to a report published by German daily Die Welt on Wednesday. The newspaper said that 18 EU nations and Canada agreed with the decision to prevent the meeting from taking place in Istanbul.
Turkey allegedly offered to host the summit slated for 2018 in Istanbul during the alliance’s 2016 meeting in Warsaw. However, NATO nations at that time agreed to postpone the decision to a later date, the German daily said.
NATO defense ministers are expected to make a final decision when they meet in June. According to the report, the favored proposal envisions the meeting at NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels.
“We do not want to enhance Turkey’s international credentials and we want to avoid the impression that NATO supports the Turkish government’s internal policy,” high-ranking NATO diplomats said, according to Die Welt.
However, NATO deputy spokesman Piers Cazalet told DW that member states have not yet taken a decision on the “venue or time of the 2018 NATO summit.”
“At the meeting of NATO leaders last week, Turkey made an offer to host one of our next summits, although not necessarily next year,” Cazalet said. “Having a full-fledged summit at the new headquarters in Brussels is also an option. These options are not mutually exclusive.