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North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization:

Why in News?

Greece rejects NATO mediation.

  • It says ‘de-escalation’ only after Turkey withdraws vessels from Greek waters.

What’s the issue?

Over recent weeks, tensions have been rising in the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, prompted by what seems like a simple rivalry over energy resources.

  • Turkey has pursued an aggressive gas exploration effort, its research vessel heavily protected by warships of the Turkish Navy.
  • There have been encounters with rival Greek vessels and a third Nato country, France, has become involved, siding with the Greeks.
  • These tensions also highlight another shift in the region – the decline of US power.

Cause for latest tensions:

Tensions are mounting to breaking point between Turkey and Greece over Turkey’s drilling work near the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which like Greece is an EU member country.

  • Turkey doesn’t recognize the divided island of Cyprus as a state and claims 44 per cent of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone as its own.
  • Cyprus was split along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

About North Atlantic Treaty Organization:

It is an intergovernmental military alliance.

  • Established by Washington treaty.
  • Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
  • Headquarters — Brussels, Belgium.
  • Headquarters of Allied Command Operations — Mons, Belgium.

Significance:

It constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.

Composition:

Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 30. The most recent member state to be added to NATO was North Macedonia on 27 March 2020.

  • NATO membership is open to “any other European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.”

Objectives:

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.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. NATO- genesis and headquarters.
  2. What is NATO Allied Command Operations?
  3. Who can become members of NATO?
  4. Overview of the Washington Treaty.
  5. Countries surrounding the North Atlantic Ocean.
  6. Latest NATO member.

Mains Link:

Discuss the objectives and significance of NATO.

Sources: the Hindu.