DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Turkey Suspends Arms Treaty, Aligning with NATO Allies and Russia

Turkey Suspends Arms Treaty, Aligning with NATO Allies and Russia

Turkey has joined its NATO counterparts and Russia in suspending the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, marking a significant shift in its military policy.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree on April 4 to suspend Ankara's obligations under the treaty, following similar moves by Washington and other NATO members last November, in response to Russia's withdrawal.

The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, conceived at the end of the Cold War, aimed to establish a cooperative security framework. However, Russia's foreign ministry cited its outdated nature and inconsistency with Russia's security interests as reasons for withdrawal.

Turkey's decision to suspend its duties under the treaty comes amid improving relations with the United States, ahead of a scheduled meeting between Erdogan and President Joe Biden in Washington next month.

Diplomatic ties between the US and Turkey have seen a positive turn since Turkey approved Sweden's NATO membership, ending a lengthy waiting period. This move also paved the way for a significant arms deal between the US and Turkey, involving the sale of F-16 warplanes, missiles, and bombs worth $23 billion.

US Senator Chris Murphy characterized this development as a pivotal moment for the US-Turkey partnership during his visit to Turkey in February.

However, divisions persist among NATO allies, particularly concerning Turkey's acquisition of advanced Russian missile defense systems and US support for the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG), considered a terrorist organization by Turkey due to its affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

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