Wednesday

18th Oct 2017

Trump and Erdogan haunt Nato meeting

  • Kerry. The incoming administration has not yet named its new secretary of state (Photo: state.gov)

Donald Trump's administration will not abandon Nato, according to US secretary of state John Kerry, who says that the president-elect is already doing U-turns on other issues, such as immigration and climate.

“The United States commitment to Nato and to Article 5 transcends politics,” he said in Brussels on Tuesday (6 December), referring to the Nato pledge on mutual defence.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Stoltenberg dismissed concerns on Italy and Turkey (Photo: nato.int)

“I can’t overstate the degree to which I am confident that the majority of both parties in the US - both major parties - are committed to Nato.”

Trump said in his election campaign that Nato was out of date, that he might not defend allies who did not spend more on their own military, and that he wanted to make friends with Russia.

Kerry said in Brussels: “I am confident that Article 5 is not going to be held hostage to the lack of one country or another or several having met that [spending] goal. That’s not going to happen. Article 5 is larger than [that] - it’s about principle, it’s about security.”

Kerry noted that Trump was already rowing back on campaign statements on immigration and climate change.

Trump had promised to build a wall on the Mexico border and to scrap the Paris climate accord, but Kerry said: “There’s already a revision with respect to the amount of wall or fence or whatever it is now being called. There’s going to be - there’s also a revision with respect to … climate change.”

Aside from his policy ideas, Trump’s far-right rhetoric also shocked Nato allies in Europe, with French president Francois Hollande at one point saying that Trump made him want to vomit.

Kerry said Nato’s role was to defend “the liberal world order” and values such as “tolerance, openness, democracy, rule of law, [and] good governance”.

Speaking in Brussels the same day at a meeting of Nato foreign ministers, Nato head Jens Stoltenberg said he wanted Trump to come to next year’s Nato summit in Brussels “to show the strength of the transatlantic bond and of the alliance”.

Events in Turkey and Italy have also caused tension in the Western club.

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken draconian measures against alleged coup plotters and Kurdish sympathisers and has improved ties with Russia.

Italian leader Matteo Renzi has resigned after he lost a referendum, raising the prospect of the anti-Nato and pro-Russia 5 Star Movement party getting into power.

Stoltenberg said some Turkish officers had applied for asylum in Nato countries, but that it was up to their national jurisdictions to decide how to treat them.

He said Erdogan had, in a recent meeting, personally promised him to “continue to be a committed Nato ally”.

He also said “the fact that Turkey is talking to Russia it not contradicting that Turkey is committed and a key Nato ally”.

On Renzi, Stoltenberg said: “The outcome of the referendum will not in any way change Italy’s position in Nato.”

EU in damage control on festering Turkey relations

The EU commission wants to maintain relations with Turkey, despite an EU parliament vote to suspend accession talks amid renewed threats from Ankara to scrap a migrant swap deal.

Italy referendum spooks eurozone

Prime minister Matteo Renzi's resignation, followed by a crushing rejection of his reforms, has sent the euro plunging against the dollar and put the country's fragile banking system at risk.

Opinion

EU can still end Rohingya ethnic cleansing

If European leaders speak and act now, there's a chance ethnic cleansing could end before the last Burmese Rohingya is killed, captured, or exiled.

News in Brief

  1. Spanish Court declares Catalan referendum law void
  2. EU to keep 'Dieselgate' letter secret
  3. No deal yet on Mediterranean alliance for EU agencies
  4. EU Commission condemns Maltese journalist's murder
  5. Poland denies wrongdoing over forest logging
  6. Risk to asylum kids in EU increasing, says charity
  7. Schroeder warns of Turkey and Russia drifting towards China
  8. EU parliament wants equal pay for posted workers

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  2. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  6. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  7. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  8. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  9. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  10. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness
  12. CECENon-Harmonised Homologation of Mobile Machinery Costs € 90 Million per Year

Latest News

  1. EU rejects UK claim it's slowing Brexit talks
  2. Nepal troops arrive in Libya to guard UN refugee agency
  3. Is Banking Authority HQ the Brexit 'booby prize'?
  4. EU-Russia trade bouncing back - despite sanctions
  5. No sign of Brexit speed-up after May-Juncker dinner
  6. EU defence strategy 'outsourced' to arms industry
  7. EU privacy rules tilt to industry, NGO says
  8. Malta in shock after car bomb kills crusading journalist