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Stoltenberg acknowledges Turkey's concerns on Sweden, Finland's NATO bids

No other NATO ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey, NATO's Stoltenberg told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, adding the country's security concerns should be addressed.

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published May 24,2022

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged on Tuesday the relevance of Turkey's concerns on Sweden and Finland's membership bids for the defense alliance, reiterating that it is an "important NATO ally."

"I also recognize the importance of addressing the concerns that Turkey has raised," Stoltenberg told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

He said Turkey "is an important ally" that has played a "key role in the fight against ISIS/Daesh" and has a "strategic geographic location," which "is important for the whole Alliance."

Stoltenberg pointed out that "No other NATO ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey."

"We have to sit down and find a way forward," he said.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last week, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine, which began in February.

But Turkey, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to the membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups such as the PKK/YPG. The accession requires unanimous approval from all 30 NATO member states.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK-listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU-has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people. The YPG is PKK's Syrian offshoot.