December 3, 2019 / 12:15 PM / 11 days ago

NATO's chief cannot promise to heal rift with Turkey by end of London summit

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, ahead of the NATO summit in Watford, in London, Britain, December 3, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

LONDON (Reuters) - NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday it was not right to question the Western alliance’s security guarantee but that he was working to solve a dispute with Turkey over allied plans to defend the Baltics.

Asked if the issue could be resolved by the end of the London summit, he said: “I will not promise that, but what I can say is that we are working on that. But it is not like NATO doesn’t have a plan to defend the Baltic countries.”

Speaking after a breakfast with U.S. President Donald Trump, Stoltenberg said NATO still had strong support in the United States and cited a “big paradox” that while people were questioning the transatlantic bond, citizens backed NATO. “We have bad rhetoric but extremely good substance,” he said.

Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Alison Williams

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