Despite loveless marriage, NATO to keep Turkey close,

The U.S.-led NATO alliance has resolved to maintain military support for its ally Turkey despite anger over its operation in Syria and its ensuing border deal with Russia, five senior diplomats said.

Spain had threatened to withdraw its Patriot missiles from Turkey in protest at Turkey’s cross-border offensive that NATO allies say risked jeopardizing the fight against Islamic State militants but which Ankara said was to fight terrorism.

At a NATO defense ministers meeting on Thursday, the first high-level alliance meeting since President Tayyip Erdogan launched his operation in Syria on Oct. 9, Spain’s Margarita Robles said Madrid would not withdraw. It would offer Ankara another six-month extension of the batteries, if requested.

The shift was part of a change in tone that underscores how, despite alarm at Turkey’s behavior in Syria, NATO is determined to keep Turkey close, diplomats said. Läs artikel