BRUSSELS Turkey’s permanent representative to NATO Thursday said allies should handle the differences of opinion and respect the security concerns of one another.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency on the 69th anniversary of Turkey’s NATO membership, Basat Ozturk said Turkey has been a valuable and important country for the alliance, adding: “Although we have different opinions with some allies, in the end, NATO is a platform to address these differences.”
NATO should be the main consultation platform on all matters concerning the security and defense issues of all allies as also required by the Washington Agreement, Ozturk said, noting that Stoltenberg’s vision for 2030 also strengthens this role of NATO.
Ozturk also said some EU members discuss their security and defense issues in the EU meetings but not in NATO.
“Some of our allies have exploited the EU to exert pressure on Turkey over bilateral issues. But we’ve always defended to address the bilateral issues between the allies directly through bilateral channels,” he stressed, adding that NATO plays a very important role in these kinds of situations.
Turkey, nearing 70 years of NATO membership, is ready to contribute to expanding the mutual trust and solidarity within the alliance, Ozturk said.
“So, each ally must respect the security concerns and interests of one another,” he added. “They must show this solidarity not only against the Daesh[/ISIS] and al-Qaeda terrorism but also against the PKK terrorism.”
He also underlined that NATO allies should not impose sanctions and embargo on each other or threaten to do so.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, founded on April 4, 1949, currently has 30 members and is headquartered in Brussels.
Turkey joined NATO in 1952 after 12 founding countries of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States.