Infighting roils NATO as leaders gather in London

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U.S. President Donald Trump and his NATO counterparts have been gathering in London Tuesday to mark the alliance’s 70th birthday amid deep tensions as spats between leaders expose an absence of unity that dangers undermining the army group’s credibility.

For the third summit in a row, Trump is predicted to resume calls for that European allies and Canada step up protection spending. Meanwhile, lamenting NATO’s “brain death” because of an absence of U.S. management, French President Emmanuel Macron says NATO wants “a wake-up call.”

Macron insists that strategic questions should be addressed, like bettering ties with Russia and the best way to deal with an unpredictable ally like Turkey.

In flip, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at Macron, and their very public argument bodes in poor health for a summit hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who’s deep into an electoral marketing campaign and desperately needs to clean issues over.

Ankara raised the ire of its allies by invading northern Syria, and for getting Russian air protection programs with highly effective computer systems aboard that suck up knowledge and would compromise the army tools of allies in the event that they have been stationed close by.

Before heading to London, Erdogan advised that Turkey may not again Poland and NATO’s Baltic allies — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — ought to they require defending except the allies help Turkish issues about Syrian Kurdish fighters, which Ankara sees as terrorists.

That risk raises new questions on NATO’s dedication to its collective protection clause — Article 5 — below which all allies vow to return to the help of a member below assault. The clause has solely ever been activated as soon as, after the 9/11 assaults in the United States.

The two-day summit kicks off with receptions at Buckingham Palace and Downing Street later Tuesday. A brief working session will probably be held at a golf resort in outer London on Wednesday. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and a few leaders have been collaborating in a facet occasion Tuesday morning

Trump is because of maintain separate talks with Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte on the sidelines of the summit. Johnson can also be set to host talks on Syria with Macron, Merkel and Erdogan later Tuesday.

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AP Writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara contributed to this report.

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