Turkey ‘undermining’ NATO cohesion, says Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday accused Turkey of undermining the cohesion of NATO and opposing the principles of the alliance, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported, citing diplomatic sources.

Pompeo’s remarks arrived during a teleconference of Foreign Ministers, Kathimerini said, where the U.S. secretary of state spoke of what he called Turkey’s provocative activities in Libya, Syria, Nagorno-Karabakh and the eastern Mediterranean. 

Pompeo also referred to Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system, saying it was a “gift’’ from Moscow, it said.

In recent months, Turkish armed forces have launched major cross-border offensives against Kurdish armed groups in Syria, intervened against the UAE-backed strongman Khalifa Haftar in Libya, backed Azerbaijan in its post-Soviet territorial dispute with Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and confronted Greece over disputed maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean.

Pompeo, during Tuesday's teleconference, also accused Ankara for the failure of the military "deconfliction mechanism" agreed upon between Turkey and Greece in October, Kathimerini said.

On Oct. 1, NATO confirmed that Ankara and Athens had agreed to "a bilateral military deconfliction mechanism" that would prevent a military confrontation over hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean.