BERLIN – Anadolu Agency
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that the alliance without Turkey would be weak.
“Without doubt, NATO
would suffer from weakness without Turkey,” Stoltenberg told German
newspaper Welt am Sonntag in an interview posted online on April 29.
“Turkey is a key country for the security of Europe,” he stressed.
Stoltenberg said Turkey has made huge contributions to NATO
missions in Kosovo, Afghanistan and the Mediterranean Sea.
With its geographical position, it has played an important role in fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the crisis regions of Syria and Iraq, he added.
“Think if any other NATO
country besides Turkey was under the massive terrorist attacks Turkey has faced. Turkey has the right to defend its country and to punish the people who launched the thwarted coup attempt of July 2016,” Stoltenberg said.
“This [punishment] should be in accordance with the principles of the rule of law,” he added.