NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gave an interview to the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine, Ravi Agrawal, today.
Mr Stoltenberg received a series of questions on the war in Ukraine and NATO’s response, on the challenges China poses to the West and NATO, but also on the texture and future of NATO in an ever-changing world.
As he stated, NATO is the most successful defense alliance in history and its success is due to the unity of its members and the Organization’s ability to evolve and face challenges in the context of a changing world.
Also, the journalist asked Mr. Stoltenberg the following question regarding Turkey’s position within NATO, with reference to the relevant letters that Greece has sent to the Alliance: “Regarding Turkey, you received letters from the Foreign Minister of Greece warning NATO of a possible second war on European soil, then accusing Turkey of aggressive action which is disturbing to the unity of the Alliance. There is also the question of the admission of Finland and Sweden. Do you see Turkey as a problem “child” that stands in the way of NATO unity?».
The NATO Secretary General replied: “Both Greece and Turkey are our valuable NATO allies. They have been members of this Alliance for many years, for many decades, and they contribute to our common security in different ways, which we appreciate. There are some differences, some disagreements, and of course our message is that these differences should be resolved through diplomatic means. It is important to avoid any military incidents or accidents, for example in the Aegean. That is why NATO has established a decompression mechanism, where Turkey and Greece participate to prevent and reduce the risk of incidents or accidents, as we saw before in the 1990s, a similar situation that led to very serious incidents in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean».
He added: “For Turkey in addition, we must realize that it is the NATO ally that has suffered the most from terrorist attacks and we take seriously the concerns expressed about these threats“, concluding: “That is why I welcome the historic decision by the 30 NATO allies to invite Finland and Sweden to join the Alliance, and that Turkey, Finland and Sweden were able to agree in Madrid through a joint statement and multilateral agreement on how to take action to fight terrorism, which is important to all of us».
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