Turkey’s Erdogan Cuts Short Africa Trip For Virtual NATO Meeting

PARIS, France – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan cancelled a planned trip to Guinea – Bissau and is returning home from Africa early to participate in an online meeting with NATO leaders, his office said on Tuesday.

The president’s office said the NATO summit was set for Wednesday.

The decision comes as Russia’s move to recognise two breakaway regions in east Ukraine as independent raised tensions among Turkey’s two Bleak Sea neighbours. Earlier, Erdogan said Moscow’s move was unacceptable.

Erdogan was on a three – day trip with top cabinet members to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Guinea – Bissau, and has been scheduled to return to Turkey on Wednesday.

The United States, European Union and other Western powers are concerned about a large – scale war in Ukraine and have announced, or are mulling, possible sanctions on Russia.

Turkey has good ties with both Moscow and Kyiv and has offered to act as mediator, and opposes sanctions in principle.