Turkey's NATO veto on Austria partially resolved, dispute remains

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-25 02:30:25|Editor: yan
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VIENNA, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's decision to veto Austrian participation in NATO activities on Tuesday appears to be partially resolved, though Austrian officials are unhappy that they are still being forced out of full cooperation with the alliance, local media reported Wednesday.

The long-running dispute had escalated on Tuesday, with Turkey vetoing Austrian participation in training exercises and future cooperation.

Austria is not a member of NATO, but cooperates as a partner. It is also one of the main contributors in a current NATO mission in Kosovo.

The move from Ankara is believed to be in response to Austria's stance that Turkey is not presently suitable for European Union accession, along with criticism of the politics of the government there.

On Wednesday, Austrian news agency APA cited a source in the Austrian defense ministry as reporting that new NATO reforms mean that member states may now strike cooperation agreements individually, instead of as a bloc, which would indicate training programs and other similar activities are no longer affected by such a veto.

Austria's cooperation in NATO operations as a whole is however still subject to a veto blockade from Turkey.

Defense minister Hans Peter Doskozil Wednesday expressed renewed frustration in a statement made via a spokesperson, calling the developments "anything but pleasant".

"Before everyone was in the one boat," it was said of the NATO partners, though now it appeared Austria could become isolated from the alliance, he said.