Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (left) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) shake hands during the NATO Foreign ministers meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on May 20, 2016.
Anadolu Agency—Getty Images
August 11, 2016 12:25 PM EDT

Turkey may look outside NATO for defense cooperation, the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister said in an interview.

Mevlut Cavusoglu said NATO countries will remain Turkey’s primary defense allies as before, Reuters reports. The suggestion that Turkey may look to expand its defense arrangements comes after the failed coup strained President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s relations with the West, and takes place the same week that Turkey and Russia’s leaders began a reconciliation process.

During the interview with NTV, Cavusoglu expressed disappointment that NATO allies have not shared more defense technology with Turkey. NATO released a statement Wednesday statement reaffirming its support of Turkey, as well as Turkey’s place in the alliance.

“NATO counts on the continued contributions of Turkey and Turkey can count on the solidarity and support of NATO,” the statement said. Turkey has the second-largest armed forces in the allied defense group.


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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com.

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