Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has stated that it is better to have Turkey inside NATO than outside it despite major differences members states have over Turkey’s offensive in northeastern Syria.
“It’s important to have them into our family, and discussion. I think it’s easier to work with them that way”, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
At the same time, the prime minister aligned herself with Merkel in strongly condemning Turkey’s actions and stating that Norway had suspended weapons exports to Turkey, following the example of Germany, France and her Scandinavian neighbours.
Earlier in the day, a report by The New York Times cited unnamed officials as saying the United States was exploring pulling its stockpile of nuclear weapons from its airbase in Turkey, which would signal the virtual end to the increasingly fraught alliance between Turkey and the NATO powerhouse.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched on 9 October a cross-border offensive, dubbed Operation Peace Spring, soon after US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from their bases in Syria. A number of countries, including Turkey’s key NATO allies the US, UK, France, and Germany, have condemned the operation, with London, Paris, and Berlin suspending arms sales to Ankara.
Turkey’s stated aim is to clear its border of Kurdish forces that it views as terrorists and to establish a 20-mile buffer zone in northern Syria.