NATO Chief slams EU over "unfair" treatment of Turkey
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen yesterday criticized the European Union for what he called its "unfair" treatment of Turkey. Writing in Danish center-left daily Politiken, Rasmussen advised the EU to "take a series of pragmatic steps to improve relations with Turkey, entirely outside the negotiations" between Ankara and Brussels over Turkey's EU membership. In particular, the former Danish prime minister urged the EU to give Turkey more of a role in decision-making for military missions it is involved in, and come to an agreement on Turkey's request to join the European Defense Agency. Rasmussen said it was "unfair" to exclude Turkey from the military research and development body, pointing out how Norway is involved even though, like Turkey, it is a member of NATO but not the EU. "This is not reasonable," he said, appealing to the EU to "send out a clear message" to Turkey regarding its role in the West. Maintaining a close partnership with Turkey is important, Rasmussen said, "not only as a valued NATO ally, but also with the EU."