Türkiye leading contributor of forces to NATO, says defense minister

Ankara has contributed to NATO missions and will continue to do so, Akar told Anadolu Agency's Editors Desk.

Türkiye leading contributor of forces to NATO, says defense minister

Türkiye is the leading country in terms of contribution of forces to NATO, the country's defense minister said.

"Türkiye is the first in the contribution of forces to NATO, it is fifth in contribution to the operations and eighth in terms of contribution to the minimum budget (of the alliance)," Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Monday told Anadolu Agency's Editors Desk.

Türkiye has contributed to NATO missions and will continue to do so, Akar affirmed.

He further noted that Türkiye's contributions to regional and global peace are recognized by all and the fulfillment of its missions at NATO is "greatly appreciated and praised."

Türkiye joined the military alliance of 29 North American and European countries in 1952 and boasts of having the second-largest army among member states after the US.

Ankara attaches 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 bid, saying: "Türkiye is in no way opposed to NATO's open door policy. We fully support its open door policy."

The defense chief said his country has fulfilled all its responsibilities with no letup for 70 years.

"NATO should expand, but while NATO is expanding, this enlargement must be made according to NATO criteria, NATO principles, NATO elements, without prejudice to the sensitivities and security of each of the NATO member countries, respecting their security," he added.

Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, voiced objections to Sweden and Finland's membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terror groups such as the PKK and its offshoots.

Ahead of a NATO summit in Madrid last month, Türkiye, Sweden, and Finland signed the accord, which allows the two Nordic countries to become NATO members but conditions them to take steps over Türkiye's terrorism concerns and lift an arms embargo on Ankara.

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

Hüseyin Demir

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