Brussels, Belgium – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that there are differences and disagreements, and we must address them, but at the same time we must recognize the fact that Turkey is part of NATO and the Western Family.

“There are differences and disagreements, and we must address them, but at the same time we must now recognize the fact that Turkey is part of NATO and the Western Family,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, recommending a positive approach to talks on Turkey at the EU leaders ‘ summit.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, a joint press conference after his meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, the Eastern Mediterranean and in Turkey “Do you think that the EU’s sanctions is the right way to address the problems with a NATO country ? Could sanctions make cooperation between the EU and NATO more complicated?” he answered his question.

Stoltenberg, who described the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean as “difficult” and quoted allies as expressing their concerns, recalled that the issue was also discussed at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers last week.

Stoltenberg reiterated that NATO acts as a platform to talk when there are differences between allies:

“We all need to look at positive approaches and ways to address differences. For this purpose, we have established a mechanism for separation procedures between Turkey and Greece in NATO. The goal here is to prevent unintended incidents and accidents between the two allies, as there is an increased military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. I am pleased that Turkey and Greece have joined this mechanism and cancelled some exercises. I’m trying to strengthen and expand this mechanism. Because we have to prevent incidents and accidents between the two allies.”

Stoltenberg said he hoped that technical talks between Turkey and Greece in NATO would also pave the way for political talks between the two countries in which the main issues could be addressed.

Stressing that Turkey is an important NATO ally, Stoltenberg noted that Turkey has borders with Iraq and Syria and plays an important role in the fight against the terrorist organization Daesh.

Stoltenberg stressed that Turkey is the country that hosts the most refugees, Syrians and is the most affected by terrorist attacks.

“There are differences and disagreements, and we have to address them, but at the same time we have to recognize the fact that Turkey is part of NATO and the Western Family., “he said.

Briefly, the EU’s Europe is not able to maintain a “safe and secure” environment in Southeast Europe without NATO’s Turkey.