Norway apologizes following Turkey's withdrawal from NATO exercise

新华社| 2017-11-18 00:32:23|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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OSLO, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Norway's defence minister apologized on Friday after Turkey decided to withdraw its troops from a NATO military exercise in the Nordic country in protest of an "unacceptable" incident.

"During a NATO exercise at the Joint Warfare Center in Stavanger, an exercise message was published on the internal exercise network," Frank Bakke-Jensen said in a statement. "The message does not reflect Norway's views or policies and I apologize for the content of the message."

The message was written by a Norwegian national who was hired to work on staff during exercise, he said, adding that the individual was removed from the exercise as a consequence of the incident.

"We will conduct a thorough investigation of the incident, and take the appropriate measures based on the conclusions," Bakke-Jensen said.

Earlier in the day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country had decided to withdraw its 40 soldiers from the NATO military exercise in Norway after the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and himself were included in a list of "enemies."

"There was an incident in Norway yesterday. They put up something like an enemies board which included Ataturk's picture and my name. These are the targets," Erdogan said in a speech to the ruling Justice and Development Party's meeting in Ankara.

Erdogan called the move "unacceptable," adding "We would withdraw those troops even if those names are removed."

"Such a state can not be an ally of Turkey," the Turkish president said.