Turkey urges partners to fully implement Open Skies Treaty

Xinhua News Agency | May 23, 2020 at 3:27 PM

ANKARA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Turkey on Saturday urged all participant countries to continue the implementation of Open Skies Treaty, which the Trump administration decided to withdraw from, accusing Russia of violating it.

"The Open Skies Treaty (OST), which Turkey is a party to, is one of the main pillars of Euro-Atlantic conventional security architecture," Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy said in a written statement.

"We attach importance to the implementation of the Treaty in full and in accordance with its purpose by all state parties. We wish the continuation of the Treaty to serve the stability and security," Aksoy stated.

The U.S. announced on Thursday that the United States would submit the notice of its decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty to all other state parties, citing Russian non-compliance as a motivating factor for its decision.

The treaty, which became effective in 2002, allows its state parties to conduct short-notice, unarmed reconnaissance flights over the others' entire territories to collect data on military forces and activities.

Currently, 35 nations, including Russia, the United States, and most members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, have signed it.

The treaty is aimed at building confidence and familiarity among states-parties through their participation in the overflights.