VIENNA, March 15 (Xinhua) — Austria will hold to its military engagements in the Western Balkans despite revelations on Wednesday that Turkey has been blocking NATO partner programs with Austrian involvement for several months.
Austria Press Agency reported Stefan Hirsch, spokesperson for Austrian Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil, as confirming that the blockade has existed for some time and could lead to long-term problems.
Hirsch said in the short-term, however, it has had no impact on Austria’s missions. He said Austria’s participation is appreciated by both NATO and the EU.
German daily Die Welt on earlier Wednesday brought to light Turkey’s blocking of the NATO partner programs, specifically to target at Austria in response to its policy toward Turkey.