World Bulletin / News Desk
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg hailed Turkish democracy Monday during a NATO meeting in Istanbul just four months after the July 15 coup attempt that martyred 248 and wounded more than 2,000.
“I would just also remind us all of the fact that we are meeting here in Turkey four shorts months after the failed coup attempt,” NATO Secretary- General Jens Stoltenberg told the 62nd session of the alliance’s Parliamentary Assembly.
“This should be a sober reminder to us all, a reminder that democracy and freedom cannot be taken for granted,” he added.
“In September, I visited the Grand National Assembly in Ankara which had been shelled by tanks and bombed by F16. I saw the damage that was done and I met members of the parliament from all major political parties. They rushed to the parliament on the night of the coup attempt and stood together in defense of their democratic institutions,” Stoltenberg said.
“I want to salute them today for their courage and dedication to democracy,” he added.
Stoltenberg, a former prime minister of Norway, said that democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law are core NATO values.
“The important thing is that given that we all represent different nations and different political parties, we again and again have proven that we are able to stand together in the alliance on the main message of collective defense and the will to defend each other,” he said.
“That was exactly what we did in Warsaw and we decided to strengthen our collective defense in response to Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine and ongoing military buildup of Russia,” he added.
This July, the leaders of 28 NATO member states decided to bolster collective defense amid concerns over Russia and threats by non-state actors.Last Mod: 21 Kasım 2016, 14:29