NATO's Rasmussen pushes EU to give Turkey security role
NATO and the European Union have to find pragmatic ways to improve their cooperation, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said yesterday, calling on the 27-member bloc to give Turkey a role in EU security policy. Rasmussen also suggested that the EU should conclude a security agreement with Turkey, give it special status in the European Defense Agency (EDA), and involve it in decision-making on EU security missions. Rasmussen, a former Danish prime minister, said such measures are required to overcome the chief obstacle to better EU-NATO cooperation: the division of Cyprus. Rasmussen said that due to vetoes by Greek Cyprus in the EU and Turkey in NATO, cooperation between the two organizations is hamstrung. "If we are to put substance into that, then we need some progress on the ground," he said, "and this is the reason why I have accompanied the strategic concept with more pragmatic proposals as to how we could overcome the obstacles."