There is a need to start talking about Turkey’s leadership on certain issues, said a high level NATO official, placing the Balkans on the top of the list.
“We can’t solve some problems without Turkey. That’s clear. So we need to start talking about Turkey’s leadership; we don’t hear it so much,” said the deputy assistant secretary general of NATO, Jamie Shea, June 26.
Shea, who spoke at a conference organized by Bahçeşehir University and NATO Public Diplomacy Division, recalled the importance of stability in Turkey. He ranked the Balkans on the top of the list for Turkish leadership. While there has been certain progress in the region, there are also issues, according to Shea.
Stagnation in the region, the political crisis in Macedonia, a looming decision on Montenegro’s possible NATO membership are projecting a rather somber picture about the situation in the Balkans. As Greece is not in a position of leadership due to its current economic crisis, Turkey, with its strong links in the Balkans, should try to keep this region moving, according to Shea.