Context: Turkish PM criticised Washington for sanctioning a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally. US has imposed sanctions targeting NATO member over its acquisition of Russian S-400 missile defence systems.
All about North Atlantic Treaty Organization – NATO
- It was formed in 1949 with the signing of the Washington Treaty.
- NATO is a security alliance of 30 countries from North America and Europe.
- Its fundamental goal is to safeguard the Allies’ freedom and security by political and military means.
- POLITICAL – NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.
- MILITARY – NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out under the collective defence clause of NATO’s founding treaty – Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nations mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organisations.
- Article 5 of the Washington Treaty — that an attack against one Ally is an attack against all — is at the core of the Alliance, a promise of collective defense.
- Article 4 of the treaty ensures consultations among Allies on security matters of common interest including new threats to security such as cyber-attacks, and global threats such as terrorism and piracy that affect the Alliance and its global network of partners.
- In addition to its traditional role in the territorial defence of Allied nations, NATO leads the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has ongoing missions in the Balkans and the Mediterranean.
- It also conducts extensive training exercises and offers security support to partners around the globe, including the European Union in particular but also the United Nations and the African Union.
- At present, NATO has 30 members.
- In 1949, there were 12 founding members of the Alliance: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- The other member countries are: Greece and Turkey (1952), Germany (1955), Spain (1982), the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia (2004), Albania and Croatia (2009), Montenegro (2017) and North Macedonia (2020).
- NATO Headquarters is the political and administrative centre of the Alliance. It is located in Brussels, Belgium.