Published: Wed, December 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump confirms meeting with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Trump confirms meeting with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

"As you know Turkey wanted to buy our Patriot system and the (former US President Barack) Obama administration wouldn't let them, and they only let them when they were ready to buy another system".

Macron, who will meet Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later in the day ahead of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, also said he stood by comments he made last month alleging that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is strategically "brain dead".

Erdogan, who met behind closed doors with Trump on Wednesday, did not speak publicly during the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting.

The French foreign ministry summoned Turkey's ambassador to Paris in response, with a French presidential adviser calling the words "insults".

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg appeared dismissive of the whole matter, saying that NATO's entire alliance will respond militarily to any attacks of the Baltic countries.

Professor Gulnur Aybet, foreign policy senior advisor to President Erdogan said however that the initial "leak" of the Baltic region defence plan had led to "misunderstandings" and made clear that the plan itself was part of an internal North Atlantic Treaty Organisation debate, though neither she or Stoltenberg spoke of how the issue could be solved.

'But this has been a border under siege for many, many decades, and it was time for us to leave, and we left, and it's been holding very nicely. USA president Donald Trump said on Tuesday it was a "very insulting statement to make", as he berated his European Union counterparts for treating the United States "very, very unfairly on trade".

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Trump suggested Macron had not answered the question.

"I think that's very insulting", Trump said of Macron's assertion last month that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is experiencing "brain death", branding it a "very, very nasty statement".

Putting China on NATO's agenda has been a top military priority of the USA, which is concerned about Beijing's ambitions in the Arctic and about Chinese 5G technology, which American officials say presents a security risk.

Erdogan isn't the only world leader attending the meeting in London to have criticised Macron's "brain death" comments.

Also on Wednesday, Trump and Stoltenberg touted a defense spending increase of a combined $130 billion by the European allies and Canada since 2016.

France's President Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel look at U.S. President Donald Trump during a family photo opportunity at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders summit in Watford, Britain December 4, 2019.

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