Reinsalu: NATO Article 5 works 'unconditionally' despite Syria escalation ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Source: Frederic Garrido-Ramirez/NATO

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said NATO's collective defense response, known as Article 5, remains in place despite the situation in the middle east having escalated in recent weeks.

Reinsalu was referring to the situation in northern Syra after NATO member Turkey launched an attack on Kurdish on Oct. 9.

According to Ankara, the target of the operation is Syrian Kurdish units, which are regarded by Turkey as terrorists, and the purpose of the military intervention is to create a Turkish-controlled area on the Syrian side to resettle Syrian refugees on Turkish territory.

Both the Estonian Foreign Minister and the NATO Secretary-General noted that Turkey's security concerns in northeastern Syria should be resolved with political and diplomatic efforts, not by militarily means.

Urmas Reinsalu and Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the agreement of Turkey and the United States to cease military actions in Syria.

"The situation in the Middle East has escalated; however, Article 5 on collective defense continues to work unconditionally," Reinsalu said on Friday. "Our dialogue with Turkey is also driven by the knowledge that Turkey is an important partner for the European Union, a NATO ally and a member of the Global Coalition to counter Daesh. Turkey has also played a crucial role in managing the migration crisis," the Foreign Minister added.

Collective defense means that an attack against one NATO ally is considered as an attack against all allies. The principle of collective defence is enshrined in Article 5 of the organization's Washington Treaty.

The meeting also reiterated the need for continued solidarity with Ukraine to counter Russia's aggression. A visit to Ukraine of the North Atlantic Council is scheduled for late October.

The NATO meeting of Heads of State and Government in London at the end of the year is expected to signal the continued central role of NATO in ensuring Euro-Atlantic security.

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Source: Frederic Garrido-Ramirez/NATO

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Editor: Helen Wright

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