The NATO chief has welcomed Monday's two-day extension of the humanitarian pause between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.
"I welcome the extension of the pause in the hostilities in Gaza," Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters Tuesday ahead of a meeting of the alliance's foreign ministers in Brussels.
"This has allowed for much-needed relief for the people in Gaza and also the release of more hostages and also the delivery of more humanitarian aid," he added, referring to a tight Israeli blockade since Oct. 7, which only allowed a trickle of aid into the enclave.
Qatar announced an agreement late Monday on extending a four-day humanitarian pause between Israel and Hamas in Gaza for an additional two days, under which further prisoner exchanges will be carried out.
Israel launched a massive military campaign in the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.
It has since killed at least 14,854 Palestinians, including 6,150 children and more than 4,000 women, according to health authorities in the enclave.
The official Israeli death toll stands at 1,200.
Stoltenberg also welcomed Germany and the Netherlands' decision to give extra assistance to Ukraine, €8 billion ($8.7 billion) and €2 billion respectively, and stressed the need to continue delivering support to help Ukraine defend itself from Russia.
"The stronger Ukraine is on the battlefield, the stronger their hand will be at the negotiating table," he said, adding that it would be "a tragedy for Ukrainians if President (Vladimir) Putin wins but it will also be dangerous for us."
Stoltenberg added that the war, which began in February 2022, is about "a rules-based international order where territorial borders are respected."
Stoltenberg also said he had hoped "for full accession of Sweden in NATO by this meeting," which he said he regretted will not happen.
"We need to also remember that Türkiye has legitimate security concerns about terrorism, about working more closely together with NATO allies on fighting a real terror threat," he said.
On Nov. 16, the Turkish parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee postponed consideration of a measure approving Sweden's NATO accession.
To join the alliance, which Sweden sought after Russia attacked nearby Ukraine, Stockholm has to have the approval of all current NATO members, including Türkiye, a NATO member for over 70 years.
Türkiye has been pushing Swedish authorities to take concrete steps to alleviate Ankara's security concerns, especially regarding support for the PKK terrorist organization.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the U.S., and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.