NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that he did not question Turkey’s membership of the alliance despite Ankara’s military operation in northern Syria.
Speaking to the German Bild newspaper, the NATO chief stressed that even though Turkish actions were condemned by many NATO member states, he still saw the country as an important ally and player in the region, adding that the violence in northeastern Syria had, indeed, been reduced following the operation.
According to Stoltenberg, Turkey played a key role in weakening ISIS (banned in Russia) by helping the United States, among other countries, in neutralising the movement's leader, Abu Bakr Baghdadi, whose death did not bring an actual end to the Caliphate.
He also drew attention to the fact that Turkey was the only country that accepted 3.6 million refugees from Syria and the only alliance state that encountered so many terrorist attacks. For that reason, Stoltenberg noted, the fight against ISIS in Syria should continue.