Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) are seen together ahead of their meeting at Turkish Foreign Ministry Building in Ankara, Turkey on April 16, 2018. ( Fatih Aktaş – Anadolu Agency )
By Diyar Guldogan
NATO welcomes Turkey’s “transparency” in its ongoing counter-terrorist Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria, the alliance’s chief said on Monday.
“[Foreign] Minister Cavusoglu briefed me on Operation Olive Branch, and I am grateful for Turkey’s continued transparency on this,” Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in the capital Ankara.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear the terrorist groups YPG/PKK and Daesh from Afrin, northwestern Syria amid growing threats from the region.
Stoltenberg said Turkey “really” did a lot for the alliance despite facing “serious” security challenges.
“No other NATO ally has suffered as many terrorist attacks as Turkey,” he pointed out. “And you are the ally most exposed to the instability in this region.”
Cavusoglu said he and Stoltenberg discussed regional issues, including Syria, Libya, Iraq, and a NATO summit set for July in Brussels.
He said Stoltenberg had visited Turkey seven times now, adding: “This is a sign of the importance placed on Turkey as an ally.”