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Hakan Fidan: NATO should not engage directly in Ukraine war

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Turkey firmly opposes NATO's direct involvement in the ongoing war in Ukraine, stated Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Friday following an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Prague. 

Hakan Fidan © TNS

Turkey firmly opposes NATO's direct involvement in the ongoing war in Ukraine, stated Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Friday following an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Prague. 

"We support continued aid to Ukraine and its ability to maintain deterrence, but we do not want NATO to participate in this war," said Fidan.

Ankara distinguishes between supporting Ukraine's efforts to ensure its territorial integrity and the direct involvement of NATO in the conflict. 

"Supporting Ukraine to guarantee its territorial integrity and liberate its territories is one thing. But NATO's involvement in the war is another," Fidan added. He warned that NATO's involvement "risks leading to a regional extension of the conflict and greater crises."

As the easternmost member of the Atlantic Alliance and a neighbor on the southern shore of the Black Sea to both warring nations, Turkey has managed to maintain relations with both Moscow and Kyiv since the conflict began in February 2022. 

This balanced approach has allowed Turkey to act as a mediator and maintain diplomatic ties with both sides.

Fidan's statement comes at a time when several NATO countries, including the United States, are seeking to respond to the intensification of Russian strikes on Ukrainian territory, particularly against civilian targets. 

The stance underscores Turkey's unique position and perspective within the alliance, advocating for a cautious approach to avoid further regional escalation.

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