Speaking ahead of a European Union summit Thursday set to decide on further sanctions against Turkey over its actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg urged the bloc’s leaders not to forget the country’s importance to the transatlantic alliance and the West at large.
“We need to make sure that we realize the importance of Turkey as part of NATO and also as part of the Western family,” said Stoltenberg.
He said any disputes between members of the alliance could be resolved through dialogue.
“NATO is a platform where also we can discuss an open way when there are differences, disagreements between allies as we see, for instance, in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.
“At the same time, I think we all have to look for positive approaches, ways to address the differences,” he said.
Stoltenberg admitted that allies had expressed their concerns over Turkey’s behavior during a meeting of NATO defense ministers last week, however adding that Ankara’s status had to be seen through its geopolitical location.
“All allies realize that Turkey is an important ally, because they border Iraq and Syria,” he said.