NATO Chief Apologizes to Turkey After Drill Incident

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. (Photo: AA file)

Oslo, MINA – NATO’s chief on Friday apologized to Turkey after a civilian Norwegian official depicted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as an “enemy collaborator” during a bloc exercise in Norway.

Turkey has withdrawn from the Trident Javelin exercise, Erdogan also announced Friday, citing a separate incident in the drill showing Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as a “hostile,” and saying, “There can be no alliance like that.” Anadolu Agency was quoted by MINA as reporting.

In a written statement, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: “I apologize for the offence that has been caused. The incidents were the result of an individual’s actions and do not reflect the views of NATO.”

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Stoltenberg’s statement said that the individual in question “was immediately removed from the exercise by the Joint Warfare Centre, and an investigation is underway.”

“He was a civilian contractor seconded by Norway and not a NATO employee. It will be for the Norwegian authorities to decide on any disciplinary action,” he also said.

Stoltenberg added that Turkey is a “valued NATO Ally, which makes important contributions to Allied security.”

During the computer-assisted exercise, a Norwegian official created a dummy military chat account under the president’s name, and posted a fake chat showing “Erdogan” as collaborating with an enemy, a NATO official, who asked not to be named due to the nature of the incident, told Anadolu Agency.  (T/RI-1)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)