Daily Sabah
June 12, 2022

Turkey has legitimate security concerns: NATO chief Stoltenberg

Security concerns raised by Turkey in its opposition to Finnish and Swedish NATO membership applications are legitimate, the Western military alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Finland on Sunday.

Stoltenberg, visiting Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto, said it was important to note that no other NATO ally had suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey, and that therefore its concerns needed to be taken seriously.

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While the two Nordic countries have said talks would continue to resolve the dispute, Ankara said it had not received any responses to its demands, including stopping support for groups Turkey considers terrorists, lifting arms embargoes on Ankara and extraditing suspects it seeks.

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Stoltenberg said during a visit to Washington that he would convene senior officials from Finland, Sweden and Turkey in Brussels in the coming days to discuss the issue. NATO leaders will convene on June 29-30 in Madrid.

In late May, Turkey hosted consultations with Swedish and Finnish delegations in Ankara on their NATO applications. Erdoğan said the meetings had not been “at the desired level.”

Ankara’s main demands are for the Nordic countries to halt support for the PKK/YPG in their territory and to lift their bans on sales of some arms to Turkey….

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