NATO chief supports Turkey, says concerns over Kurd rebels justified


Helsinki (Finland): Turkey’s objections to NATO membership for Finland and Sweden have been backed by NATO military chief Jens Stoltenberg. NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg, who arrived in the Finnish capital Helsinki on Sunday, justified Turkey’s concerns about Kurd rebels. 

Turkey has not approved Finland’s and Sweden’s applications for NATO membership because of its support for Kurdish rebels. This has left the issue of membership of both the countries hanging, despite the will of the United States.

Turkey is the only Muslim country in NATO

The constitution of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) requires all countries to agree to the entry of a new member. Turkey is the only Muslim country in the organization. “Turkey is an important member for us because of its strategic position,” Stoltenberg said. Located on the shores of the Black Sea, Turkey lies between Europe and the Arab world. Turkey has also helped Ukraine a lot during the war. We must keep in mind that no NATO member has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey.

Negotiations will continue

Stoltenberg indicated that negotiations for support for NATO membership were ongoing. A valid solution to the issue will be worked out to the concerned parties soon. Finland and Sweden, fearful of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have renounced their neutrality policy and applied for NATO membership in May. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the Nordic countries of supporting Kurdish rebels. 

At the same time, he has objected to the Nordic countries joining NATO and has spoken of using veto. For the past few weeks, NATO chiefs have been trying to resolve the dispute, but they have not yet revealed whether any progress has been made.

first published:June 13, 2022, 10:40 a.m.

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