Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Turkey maintains opposition to Dane for NATO chief | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

ANKARA, (Reuters) – Turkey made clear on Saturday it would not agree to Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen being appointed the next head of NATO at the alliance’s summit, a senior Turkish government official said.

“Why should Turkey agree on a candidate today? Yesterday the (Turkish) prime minister spoke about it and we are sticking with that idea,” the official said after Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had a long telephone call with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on the issue.

Turkey says Rasmussen cannot manage NATO’s sensitive missions in the Muslim world, where it is fighting a war against Islamist militants in Afghanistan, because of the way he handled a 2006 crisis over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a Danish newspaper, which caused riots in several countries.