NATO chief recalls Turkey's commitment to Article 5 amid calls to join Shanghai 5
Turkey would never take steps to undermine NATO's collective defense and unity as spelled out in Article 5, the alliance's chief has said, recalling President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's commitment to NATO membership amid the revival of a discussion on Turkish participation in the Russian-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization, known as the Shanghai Five.
"I am absolutely certain that Turkey will never do anything which undermines this collective defense, Article 5, and the unity in NATO," Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the Hürriyet Daily News in Istanbul on the sidelines of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly meetings late on Nov 21.
Erdoğan resurrected his long-standing ambition to join the Shanghai Five as Turkey's ties with the European Union have deteriorated in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt.
The Shanghai Five is a political, economic and military organization that was founded in 1996 by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, while India and Pakistan were accepted as full members in 2015. The group was founded to counterbalance the activities of the United States and NATO in Central Asia, according to some observers.
But Stoltenberg, who had a lengthy meeting before the interview took place, remains sure Turkey will remain committed to its NATO membership. "President Erdoğan stated very clearly that he is strongly committed to NATO and to our collected defense rules."
This is essential for Turkish security and all of Europe, the secretary-general stated. "The strength and the success of NATO is based on the fact that an attack on one NATO ally will trigger a response from all allies. And I am absolutely certain that Turkey will never do anything which undermines...