NATO chief says Turkey's concerns over weapons exports legitimate

NATO chief says Turkey's concerns over weapons exports legitimate

On April 28, 2022, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a press conference with the European Parliament President at the European Parliament in Brussels. KENZO TRIBOUILLARD AFP HELSINKI Security concerns raised by Turkey in its opposition to Finland and Sweden's NATO membership applications are legitimate, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday during a visit to Finland.

Stoltenberg told a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto about terrorism, it is about weapons exports, according to Stoltenberg.

In response to the conflict in Ukraine, Sweden and Finland applied to join the Western Defense Alliance last month. They have faced opposition from Turkey, which has accused them of supporting and harbouring Kurdish militants and other groups it considers terrorists.

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Stoltenberg said Turkey was a key ally for the alliance due to its strategic location on the Black Sea between Europe and the Middle East and cited the support it has provided to Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said that the Turkish pronunciation of the country's name was preferred by Turkey and its President Tayyip Erdogan, and that we have to remember and understand that no NATO ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkiye.

Stoltenberg and Niinisto said the talks with Turkey would continue but gave no indication of progress in the negotiations.

READ MORE: NATO chief promises to settle Turkey's concerns over expansion.

The summit in Madrid was never a deadline, Stoltenberg said, referring to a meeting of the NATO in Madrid at the end of June.