US concerns over EU defence pact cloud Nato talks

- Agence France-Presse, BRUSSELS

Feb 15, 2018-

Nato defence ministers gathered for talks on Wednesday amid US concerns over the EU’s landmark defence cooperation pact and increasingly strained relations between Washington and Turkey.

Washington and Ankara, two of the transatlantic alliance’s most important members, are at loggerheads over Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria, which US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday warned was detracting from the fight against the Islamic State group.

The two-day meeting at Nato headquarters in Brussels is expected to approve changes to Nato’s command structure aimed at making the alliance fit for the challenges of warfare in the 21st century, particularly cyber tactics and hybrid warfare, as fears grow about Russian assertiveness.

But a working dinner with EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini later Wednesday has taken on greater significance after senior US officials voiced fears about the bloc’s defence pact.

Despite concerns from the alliance’s biggest power, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the right balance could be struck.

Published: 15-02-2018 10:34

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