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Erdogan snubs NATO apology over ‘impudence’ during drill

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected a NATO apology over what he referred to as “impudence” during one of the Western military alliance’s drills in Norway.

According to Press TV, on Friday, Ankara withdrew dozens of Turkish soldiers from a drill in Norway after a number of Turkey’s former and current leaders were depicted as the “enemies.”

In response, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg apologized for the incident, adding that it was the result of an individual’s action and did not reflect the NATO policies.

On Saturday, Erdogan said, “You have witnessed the impudence at NATO exercises in Norway. There are some mistakes that cannot be committed by fools but only by vile people.”

He noted that the incident is “a reflection of a distorted point of view that we have observed in NATO for a while.” “This matter cannot be covered over with a simple apology.”

Over the past few months, NATO has been experiencing internal conflicts among its allies. Ankara’s deal with Russia on the purchase of S-400 anti-aircraft missiles has caused concern among members of the military bloc, including the US.

Turkey, being a NATO member state with the second-largest army in the military alliance, drew an outpouring of criticism from the US and other members of the bloc, which criticized Ankara for drifting toward Moscow.

The deal has also raised concern because the weapons cannot be integrated into the NATO defense.