UPDATED 9:45 AM PT – Monday, June 13, 2022
NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg said Turkey has raised “legitimate concerns” over Finland and Sweden joining the military alliance. While speaking in Finland on Sunday, the secretary general said its important to keep in mind that no other NATO ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey.
“The summit in Madrid was never a deadline,” he stated. “At the same time, I would like to see this solved as soon as possible. And therefore, we are working hard with our NATO ally, Turkey and also with Finland and Sweden to address those issues that Turkey has raised.”
Stoltenberg also claimed no other ally hosts more refugees, while noting Turkey plays a key roll in providing support to Ukraine. Terrorism and weapons exports are among Turkey’s concerns, but the two Nordic countries have agreed to continue discussions.
“As in international politics, it is all the reasons to take seriously what your counterpart is saying and that’s what we are going to do, take seriously what Turkey puts forward,” stated Sauli Niinisto, President of Finland.
Good to meet President @niinisto to discuss #Finland’s application for #NATO membership. We are taking the security concerns raised by #Turkiye seriously & will remain in close contact with our Ally Türkiye & partners Finland & #Sweden to find a common way forward. pic.twitter.com/fUq1hQCsQk
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) June 12, 2022
Stoltenberg assured the two Nordic countries joining was the right decision and stresses it will strengthen security and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area.