Stoltenberg: Turkey has the right to defend itself against terrorism

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that Turkey has the right to defend itself against terrorist organizations such as the PKK, stressing the need for NATO to cooperate with Ankara in combating terrorism.

Stoltenberg explained in a statement to reporters on Monday that Ankara has legitimate concerns about terrorist organizations, noting that Turkey is the country most exposed to terrorist attacks among NATO countries.

He stressed that all NATO countries consider the PKK a terrorist organization.

Regarding Sweden’s accession to NATO, Stoltenberg said: “The Swedish government has fulfilled the promises it made to Turkey, and now it is time for the Turkish parliament to ratify Stockholm’s membership.”

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On November 16, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Parliament decided to postpone discussion of the draft law approving the protocol for Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

On October 23, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed Sweden’s accession protocol to NATO.

In mid-July, the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, hosted a tripartite meeting that included President Erdogan, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Following the meeting, a tripartite statement confirmed that Ankara would refer the protocols for Sweden’s accession to the alliance to Parliament for ratification, and that Stockholm would support efforts to revive Turkey’s accession process to the European Union.​​​​​​