NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg once again took a pro-Turkish stance in an interview with Foreign Policy magazine.
Stoltenberg “pardoned” Turkey, which recently threatened to undermine the cohesion of the North Atlantic Alliance by stalling the membership of Finland and Sweden, while he said there were also “some Greek-Turkish differences.”
With regard to Ankara’s veto over the two Scandinavian countries, Jens Stoltenberg justified the position of the Turkish President, which was contrary to the decision of all other members, on the pretext that it had been “hit by terrorism” in the past, and that the expressed concern about these threats should be taken seriously.
Continuing to “whitewash” Ankara, Jens Stoltenberg evaded a direct answer to the journalist’s question whether Turkey is “a problem child that interferes with NATO unity”, saying about Greek-Turkish relations that “there are differences that need to be resolved by diplomatic means.”
Stoltenberg answered a series of questions about the war in Ukraine and NATO’s response, the challenges China poses to the West and NATO, and NATO’s structure and future in an ever-changing world. He said that NATO is the most successful defense alliance in history and that its success is due to the unity of its members and the organization’s ability to evolve and meet the challenges of a changing world.
The journalist also asked Stoltenberg the following question regarding Turkey’s position in NATO, referring to the relevant letters sent by Greece to the alliance: “As for Turkey, you have received letters from the Greek Foreign Minister in which he warns NATO about a possible second war on European soil, and also accuses Turkey of aggressive actions that violate the unity of the alliance.The question of the admission of Finland and Sweden is also raised.Do you consider Turkey a problem “child” that interferes with the unity of NATO?”.
Stoltenberg answered specifically: “Both Greece and Turkey are our valuable allies in NATO. They have been members of this alliance for many years, for many decades, and they contribute to our common security in various ways, which we greatly appreciate. There are some differences, and of course our message is that these differences should be resolved through diplomatic means, it is important to avoid any military incidents or conflicts, for example, in the Aegean, which is why NATO has created a decompression mechanism that involves Turkey and Greece, to prevent and reduce the risk of incidents or accidents. We already saw a similar situation in the 1990s, which led to very serious incidents in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Stoltenberg added: “As for Turkey, we must understand that it is the NATO ally that has suffered the most from terrorist attacks, and we take seriously the concerns expressed about these threats. That is why I welcome the historic decision of 30 NATO allies to invite Finland and Sweden to join the Alliance, and the fact that Turkey, Finland and Sweden were able to agree in Madrid through a joint statement and a multilateral agreement on how to take action against terrorism, which is important for all of us.”