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Turkey has legitimate concerns about terrorism, said NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg

The Secretary General of NATO said Sunday that Turkey has "legitimate concerns" over issues such as terrorism and other concerns.

Stoltenberg pointed to the strategic location of Turkey, with neighbors like Iraq and Syria, during a joint news conference with the president of Finland, Sauli Niinistö.

The two Nordic nations will not be able to join NATO until Finland and Sweden cease supporting Kurdish militant groups, Turkey has said.

“These are legitimate concerns. This is about terrorism, it’s about weapons exports,” Stoltenberg said. “We have to address the security concerns of all allies, including Turkish concerns about the terrorist group PKK.”

Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO in May after decades of non-alignment due to Russia's war in Ukraine. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, accuses the Nordic countries of supporting Kurdish militants, whom Turkey deems terrorists. He has therefore vetoed the Nordic nations' membership in the 30-nation alliance.

13 June 2022


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