NATO stands with Turkey against terror: Jens Stoltenberg

Representatives from all 28 NATO member states are meeting in Brussels on Tuesday to hold consultations over increasing ISIS threat faced by Turkey.

NATO stands with Turkey against terror: Jens Stoltenberg

Brussels: Representatives from all 28 NATO member states met in Brussels on Tuesday to hold consultations over increasing ISIS threat faced by Turkey.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg opened North Atlantic Council on Tuesday at 11: 00 local time. 

In his opening remarks, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed solidarity with Turkey and said that the military alliance stood firmly by key member Turkey in the face of "terrible acts of terror".

“It is right and timely that we hold this meeting today to address the instability on Turkey’s doorstep and on NATO’s border. NATO is following developments very closely and we stand in strong solidarity with our ally Turkey," Stoltenberg said.

“Our condolences go to the Turkish government and the families of the victims touched by these terrible acts of terror. Terrorism in all its forms can never be tolerated or justified,” Stoltenberg added.

The NATO ambassadors said they "strongly condemn the terrorist attacks against Turkey, and express our condolences to the Turkish government and the families" of victims killed in recent terrorist actions.

The NATO statement added: "Terrorism poses a direct threat to the security of NATO countries and to international stability and prosperity," ''It is a global threat that knows no border, nationality or religion_a challenge that the international community must fight and tackle together."

He said that "terrorism in all its forms" can never be justified.

Tuesday's meeting is only the fifth of its kind since the US-led political and military alliance was founded 66 years ago. The NATO treaty empowers member states to seek emergency consultations if they deem their territorial integrity, political independence or security to be under threat.

“In the wake of increased security threats following the attacks against our security and law-enforcement forces in provinces of Diyarbakır, Şanlıurfa and Kilis, in particular the terrorist attack that took the lives of 32 innocent Turkish citizens in Suruç on 20 July 2015, all necessary measures are being taken and in this context, operations are also being carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces,” a statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry read.

“Upon these recent attacks and threats directed against our national security, North Atlantic Council has been called for a meeting by Turkey next week under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty with a view to informing our Allies about the measures we are taking and the operations we are conducting against terrorism, as well as to holding consultations with them,” added the statement.

Turkey launched two-pronged anti-terror offensive on Friday after being rattled by a week of violence that it blamed on ISIS and PKK. Turkey has also carried out raids in eastern provinces, and so far arrested over 1000 suspected members of ISIS and PKK.

PM Ahmet Davutogu ruled out any plans to send troops into Syria and claimed that air strikes by Turkish warplanes were quiet effective and could change the game in the region.

"The presence of a Turkey that can use its force effectively can lead to consequences which can change the game in Syria, Iraq and the entire region; everyone should see that," the Hurriyet Daily News quoted him as saying.

The US, meanwhile has thrown its weight behind Turkey and defended the air strikes against the PKK as its right to defend itself.

The US has also decided to use Turkish base to launch strikes on the ISIS as Spokesperson of the US State Department John Kirby tweeted that Turkey remains a “critical ally in fight against ISIL”.

 

With Agency Inputs 

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