Turkey said it will block EU participation in an upcoming NATO summit unless the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is also allowed to participate, reported Today’s Zaman.
EU member states had proposed participation of a number of top EU officials, who are now unsure whether they will be able to attend the upcoming summit due to Turkey’s objections, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Friday.
Turkey has claimed that only member states should be present at the summit. “If non-NATO members will also participate, the OIC should be represented [in the Chicago summit] first and foremost,” Turkish diplomatic sources told Today’s Zaman on Sunday.
Turkish officials maintain that the OIC’s commitment exceeded the contributions of the EU regarding the Afghanistan peace mission.
The officials said that a final decision regarding who will participate has not yet been reached. They added that there are also objections from other non-EU NATO members to the proposed EU participation in the Chicago summit.
Turkey’s objection to EU participation in NATO activities involves a long-standing dispute and a history that has been long tainted by conflict.
Turkey has also blocked Israel’s participation in the summit.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said during a NATO meeting in Brussels on April that Turkey will not allow Israel, a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, a NATO outreach program including seven non-NATO nations, to take part in the alliance’s new “Partnership Cooperation Menu (PCM).
Turkish-Israeli relations became increasingly hostile in May 2010 when Israeli naval commandos sought to prevent the Mavi Marmara flotilla from entering Gaza and from unlawfully infiltrating Israel’s borders.
Turkey insists that NATO-Israel relations cannot be restored until Turkey-Israel relations are normalized.