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NATO: We stand with Turkey against ‘terrorism’

Erdogan said he expected the NATO military alliance would declare itself ready to take the necessary steps

Published: Updated:

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the military alliance stood in strong solidarity with its ally Turkey, which requested an emergency Meeting to discuss instability at its borders with Syria and Iraq.

“Our condolences go to the Turkish government and the families of the victims touched by these terrible acts of terror. Terrorism in all its forms can never be tolerated or justified,” Stoltenberg said as he opened the NATO meeting in Brussels.

“It is right and timely that we hold this meeting today to address the instability on Turkey’s doorstep and on NATO’s border. NATO is following developments very closely and we stand in strong solidarity with our ally Turkey.”

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had said earlier on Tuesday that he expected NATO to support his country in its fight against terrorism

"No steps back will be taken in our fight against terrorism, this is a process and it will continue with the same determination," Erdogan told a news conference ahead of his departure on an official visit to China.

Separately, Erdogan also said on Tuesday it was impossible to continue a peace process with Kurdish militants and that politicians with links to “terrorist groups” should be stripped of their immunity from prosecution.

“It is not possible for us to continue the peace process with those who threaten our national unity and brotherhood,” Erdogan told a news conference ahead of his departure on an official visit to China.

Erdogan also said a “secure zone” in northern Syria, which Turkey and the United States are in talks about establishing, would pave the way for the return of 1.7 million Syria refugees currently being sheltered in Turkey.