Tags: Trump Administration | nato | pence | turkey | military | purchase russia

European Foreign Ministers Hit Back at Pence's Threats to Turkey

mike pence listens with his hands folded
Vice President Mike Pence (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Sunday, 07 April 2019 08:28 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Less than 24 hours after Vice President Mike Pence sharply warned Turkey that its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system could risk diminishing its role in the NATO alliance, the foreign ministers of the Czech Republic and Hungary — both members of NATO — told Newsmax they had no desire to see Turkey punished in any way.

In addition, Greece’s foreign minister also voiced strong distaste for threats such as Pence’s against Turkey’s status in NATO. 

Both Foreign Ministers Tomáš Petříček of the Czech Republic and Péter Szijjártó of Hungary made their respective disagreements with Pence’s strong words on Turkey clear to us at a forum on Thursday during NATO’s 70th anniversary celebration in Washington DC.

Questioned about Turkey being punished for purchasing the $2.5 billon missile system from Russia, Petříček replied to us without hesitation that "on Turkey, there is no debate [about punishment]" among the NATO nations.

Making it clear that he "doesn’t like the anti-Turkey talk" such as Pence’s, Hungary’s Szijjártó pointed out that "Turkey has the second-largest army in NATO and no one thinks Turkey should leave NATO."

"We always bash them," Szijjártó said of the Turks.

He recalled how Turkey survived a military coup in July of 2016 in which "its democratically-elected president was almost killed….We must respect the Turkish people."

Also weighing in Thursday against Pence’s harsh words about Turkey was Greek Foreign Minister Georgios Katrougalos.  Speaking at a panel on Greece at the U.S. Capitol, Katrougalos said "we have a shared interest with U.S. to keep Turkey in NATO."

"We don’t want to have anyone as a target," he emphasized, making an unmistakable reference to Pence’s sharp criticism of Turkey a day earlier."

Pence made his early remarks at "Nato Engages," a program dealing with the 70th anniversary of the alliance. At one point in his remarks, the vice president suggested that Turkey’s purchase from Russia could undermine its status in NATO: " Turkey must choose: Does it want to remain a critical partner of the most successful military alliance in the history of the world?"

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
 

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Less than 24 hours after Vice President Mike Pence sharply warned Turkey that its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system could risk diminishing its role in the NATO alliance, the foreign ministers of the Czech Republic and Hungary - both members of NATO - told Newsmax...
nato, pence, turkey, military, purchase russia
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2019-28-07
Sunday, 07 April 2019 08:28 AM
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