Erdogan skips COP26 climate summit in security dispute with UK

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Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has cancelled plans to attend the COP26 climate conference after Britain failed to meet Ankara’s demands on security arrangements, two Turkish officials told Reuters on Monday.

Erdogan returned to Turkey from a G20 summit in Rome instead of travelling to the climate summit in Glasgow, the state-owned Anadolu agency said. The Turkish presidency gave no reason for his unscheduled return.

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One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there were protocol issues over the president’s planned attendance at the meeting. Another Turkish official said British authorities had not met Turkey’s requests over protocol and security.

“The president took such a decision because our demands regarding the number of vehicles for security and some other security related demands were not fully met,” the senior official told Reuters.

Erdogan had previously been expected to meet US President Joe Biden in Glasgow, but they met in Rome on Sunday.

Last month, Turkey’s parliament ratified the Paris climate agreement, becoming the last G20 country to do so.

Ankara had held off ratification for years, saying it should not be classed as a developed country with reduced access to funding to support emissions cuts under the accord. It also said

Turkey is historically responsible for a very small share of carbon emissions.

Erdogan said last week Turkey had signed a Memorandum of Understanding under which it will get loans worth $3.2 billion to help it meet clean energy goals set out in the Paris accord.

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