Polish, Turkish presidents discuss Baltic states ahead of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Exclusive U.S. defense chief calls on Turkey to stop holding up NATO readiness plan

Reluctant to back North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defense plans for Poland and the Baltics ahead of the summit, Turkey has taken issue with the alliance's failure to recognize the threat it faces in northern Syria from the YPG/PKK terror group along its southern border.

While Western leaders were alarmed that Turkish opposition could derail efforts to deter Russian Federation in eastern Europe, they said there was no chance of siding with Turkey against the forces who spearheaded the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). The cease-fire is holding very much so and I think people are surprised, ' Trump said.

Defending the organisation during the NATO Engages conference in London on 3 December, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, said that "unity should not be questioned, ' in light of recent criticism from Emmanuel Macron that the 'brain death" of NATO is at hand. "Failure to do so is sending a awful signal to other countries that they can flout U.S. laws without effect", they said.

He said the conversation, "was concentrated around the most important issues and concerned the alliance as such, the values that it serves, and also the London summit and the aims for which the meeting stands - maintaining alliance solidarity".

"They've been very good".

There also were disagreements within the alliance, most notably between the USA and France, on whether China should be viewed as an adversary at all.

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Macron accused Turkey of working with "ISIS proxies".

Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later came face to face at four-way talks with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain's Johnson.

Asked whether Washington might agree to branding the YPG as terrorists in order to break the deadlock, Esper said: "I wouldn't support that".

The Turkish side said the meeting lasted about 30 minutes.

"And yet you still have many delinquent - you know I call them delinquent when they're not paid up in full", Trump said. We support productive cooperation with China, which we also consider to be a rising power.

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