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NATO calls for considering Turkiye's concerns over expansion

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, Belgium on 6 April 2022 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, Belgium on 6 April 2022 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

The Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, said it was "important" to address Turkiye's concerns on Finland and Sweden's applications to join the alliance.

"When an important ally like Turkey raises security concerns, raises issues, then of course the only way to deal with that is to sit down and find common ground," Stoltenberg told reporters in the Danish capital of Copenhagen.

During his meeting with Denmark's Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, Stoltenberg stressed that the "security interests and concerns of all allies need to be taken into account," reiterating that the military alliance was addressing the "concerns that Turkey has expressed."

"It is not uncommon in NATO to have differing opinions on major decisions," he pointed out, explaining that a difference of opinion would be addressed by "sitting down and discussing solutions."

The official noted that the alliance was in "close contact with Finland, Sweden and Turkey" to find a solution.

READ: Sweden slams 'disinformation' regarding support for 'terror groups'

"If Sweden and Finland joined NATO, 96 percent of the European Union's population would be part of the alliance," Stoltenberg added, stressing that both unions had "closely cooperated on various issues, including Ukraine, the Western Balkans and cybersecurity."

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said Sweden and Finland harbour and finance "terrorists", repeating Ankara's accusation that the two countries support groups that it deems terrorists, namely the PKK and the Syrian Kurdish YPG. He added that he would not support their bid to join NATO as a result.

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Europe & RussiaFinlandInternational OrganisationsNATONewsSwedenTurkey
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