Turkey, first contributor of forces to NATO: Ankara

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Turkey is the leading country in terms of contributing forces to NATO, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said.

“Turkey is first in the contribution of forces to NATO, it is fifth in contribution to operations and eighth in terms of contribution to the minimum budget (of the alliance),” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Monday. Anadolu Agency (AA).

Turkey has contributed to NATO missions and will continue to do so, the minister said.

He further noted that Turkey’s contributions to regional and global peace are recognized by all and that the accomplishment of its missions in NATO is “highly appreciated and commended”.

Turkey joined the military alliance of 29 North American and European countries in 1952 and boasts of having the second largest military among member states after the United States.

Ankara attaches the utmost importance to NATO’s role in maintaining security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.

Akar also commented on Sweden and Finland’s NATO candidacy, saying: “Turkey is in no way opposed to NATO’s open door policy. We fully support its open door policy. “

The defense chief said his country had fulfilled all its responsibilities tirelessly for 70 years.

“NATO must enlarge, but while NATO enlarges, this enlargement must be done according to the criteria, principles, elements of NATO, without prejudice to the sensitivities and the security of each of the member countries of NATO, while respecting their security,” he added.

Turkey, a longtime member of the alliance, has expressed objections to membership bids from Sweden and Finland, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups such as the PKK and its offshoots.

Ahead of a NATO summit in Madrid last month, Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed the deal, which allows the two Nordic countries to become NATO members but conditions them on taking action on concerns terrorists from Turkey and to lift the arms embargo on Ankara.

Following the agreement, NATO formally invited Sweden and Finland to join the 30-member military alliance.

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