Turkey’s importance for the Alliance was underlined by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an interview Thursday with the French newspaper Le Figaro.
“All allies have criticized the operation, but no one has questioned Turkey’s position in NATO”, Stoltenberg said in an interview, referring to the military operation Peace Source launched by Turkey on October 9.
“Turkey joined the fight against ISIS by allowing its allies to use its bases. Turkey is the only country in NATO with borders both with Syria and with Iraq”, he said.
“Turkey is home to 3.6 million immigrants. Turkey is very important for NATO. To understand this, [we have to] look at the map and look at Turkey’s geostrategic situation”, the NATO Secretary General said elsewhere.
Stoltenberg also commented on French President Emmanuel Macron’s criticism of the alliance, describing NATO as “brain dead.”
“NATO is vital to security issues. It has proven this by protecting almost a billion people for decades”, he added.
Stoltenberg also stressed that NATO is not a competitor to the European Union, while noting that Canada, England, Iceland, Norway, Turkey and the US play an important role in European security./ibna