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A spokeswoman for Ankara's mission to the military alliance said on Thursday that Turkey's withdrawal is only aimed at Austria. Last year Vienna led calls for the European Union to end Turkey's EU accession talks over Ankara's response to a failed coup. Turkish referendum rallies have been canceled in Austria.
“There have been some tensions with Austria and a resulting blockage. It is, however, only targeted at Austria, the other partners are not targeted at all,” Fatma Pasaoglu, spokeswoman for Turkey's mission to NATO in Brussels, said, as cited by Reuters.
Austria's Defense Ministry on its part has confirmed the Turkish block, which potentially affects all 22 NATO partner states. Ministry spokesman Stefan Hirsch told AFP that the “Turkish blockade of Austria’s partner programs with NATO began several months ago."
He told Reuters that Ankara's move could trigger problems in the near future, such as “the preparation of missions in Kosovo, because there are joint training programs.”
“We regret the current situation and the impact it is having on all of our cooperation programs with partners,” a NATO official said, as quoted by AFP.