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NATO supports Turkey's counter-terrorism operations

Alliance chief says all allies back Turkey and condemn terrorism 'in all its forms'

Eklenme: 29 Temmuz 2015 02:11 - Güncelleme: 11 Nisan 2016 05:12

NATO voiced its “strong support” for Turkey on Tuesday following an emergency meeting of the alliance executive body.

Speaking at a news conference after the meeting, which had been called by Turkey following attacks by Daesh and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “In the meeting there was full agreement on the statement and all allies expressed their strong support for Turkey and we all stand together united with Turkey.

“All allies condemn terrorism in all its forms.”

In a statement released following the meeting in Brussels, the North Atlantic Council said it had discussed the threats against Turkey and passed on condolences to the families of 32 people killed in last week’s bomb attack in the southern town of Suruc, as well as those of police and military members killed since the July 20 bombing.

“Terrorism poses a direct threat to the security of NATO countries and to international stability and prosperity,” the statement said. “It is a global threat that knows no border, nationality or religion - a challenge that the international community must fight and tackle together.

“Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations can never be tolerated or justified. The security of the alliance is indivisible and we stand in strong solidarity with Turkey.”

Following the Suruc attack, which has been widely blamed on Daesh, police and soldiers have been killed in attacks by the PKK and Daesh, leading Turkey to launch airstrikes in Syria and Iraq over the weekend.

Counter-terrorist operations have seen more than 1,000 supporters of Daesh, the PKK and Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) arrested across Turkey.

Under Article 4 of the NATO treaty, any member country can request a meeting of all 28 NATO members if it feels its security is under threat. It was only the fifth time in the organization’s history that such a meeting had been called.

Stoltenberg said that Turkey “didn’t ask for additional military NATO presence in Turkey" during the meeting.

Using an acronym for Daesh, he added: "What we all know is Turkey is a staunch ally. Turkey has very capable armed forces… I welcome the increased efforts by Turkey to fight ISIL."

A NATO official, speaking under a usual condition of anonymity, told Anadolu Agency that Turkey's allies condemned attacks by both Daesh and the PKK but wanted to see talks between the government and the PKK "kept alive" because of Turkey's "investment" in finding a solution to the 30-year conflict between the miltants and the Turkish state.

 The PKK is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, the EU and U.S. but has been involved in a "solution process" with the government since 2013.

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