NATO’s Rasmussen says Turkey is not turning its back on the West

NATO Secretary-General Anders Rasmussen told Turkish daily, “Today’s Zaman” February 5, that he is not concerned about Turkish foreign policy changing direction. Rasmussen said he believes Turkey can and should play an important role as a bridge between Central Asia and the Middle East and Europe and North America. “I think Turkey for geographical and political reasons can and will play an instrumental role. Having said that, I also hope to see progress in the Turkish relationship with the EU.” Rasmussen added that the “relationship between the military and the political system in Turkey has developed and improved during recent years” with  “positive developments recently.” “Within the context of NATO we have the very best relations with Turkey at the political and military level,” he said.

NATO defense ministers are meeting in Istanbul on Afghanistan. Rasmussen is intent on strengthening his relations with Turkey, which only reluctantly supported his selection as NATO’s Secretary General. 

Source: Today’s Zaman

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