Erdogan drops block on NATO defense plan as trust issues linger

As a NATO summit defined by discord, name-calling and accusations came to a close Wednesday, an unexpected show of unity took shape as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reversed his stance on a previous threat to block resolutions during the meeting.

Ahead of the two-day London gathering, the Turkish leader said he would hold up NATO defense plans for Baltic states and Poland if allies did not designate the US-backed People’s Protection Units in Syria as a terror organization.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that Erdogan had withdrawn the ultimatum late Wednesday. In a joint statement, member states reaffirmed their commitment to the alliance, saying, “Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations remains a persistent threat to us all.”

In a closing press conference, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said the Turkish leader did not impose any demands in return for his support of the NATO plan.

“No one demanded anything from us for this,” Nauseda said. “We all thanked President Erdogan for his solidarity.”

The development, along with the final communiqué despite earlier reports one may not have been released, were positive developments in an otherwise rocky summit marked by disagreements among allies. Still, as NATO leaders return to their nations, a myriad of unresolved issues will continue to foster distrust between Turkey and some member states.

Read the full story on Al Monitor.