Turkey wants to lead high-level NATO task force in 2021
Turkey wants to preside over NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in 2021, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday, Anadolu Agency reported.
NATO allies decided to enhance its NATO Response Force in 2014 by creating a "spearhead force" within it known as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.
In remarks made at weekly press briefing Friday in Ankara, spokesman Tanju Bilgic said: "The Readiness Action Plan was one of the most concrete results of the Wales Summit in 2014. Within the scope of this plan, one of the issues raised was how to prevent new dangers around Europe. One of the action plans is Very High Readiness Joint Task Force."
"Turkey has placed its bid to preside this task force in 2021 during the Antalya Foreign Ministers' meeting," Bilgic said.
During the NATO Wales Summit in September 2014, the allied countries approved a "Readiness Action Plan to ensure the alliance is ready to respond swiftly and firmly to new security challenges," NATO said on its official website.
"The plan provides a comprehensive package of measures to respond to the changes in the security environment in and near Europe. It responds to the challenges posed by Russia. It also responds to threats emanating from the Middle East and North Africa," it added.
During the recently held Antalya Foreign Ministers' Meeting, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said the organization was increasing its presence in the East.
"We are significantly expanding the size of the NATO response force, and we are developing a spearhead force with lead elements ready to deploy within as little as 48 hours. We are enhancing our ability to deter and prevent hybrid threats," he said.
He added: "At the same time, we are helping to make our neighbors more resilient because if they are more stable, we are more secure."