By Sorwar Alam
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday called on Turkey and the Netherlands “to show mutual respect” in order to defuse the growing tension between the two allies after the Dutch government banned a Turkish minister from entering the Turkish Consulate in Rotterdam.
"I would encourage all allies to show mutual respect, to be calm and have a measured approach," Stoltenberg told reporters at the NATO headquarters in Brussels.
He urged that two of the alliance’s members – Turkey and the Netherlands - should “focus on everything that unites us” rather than escalating tension.
"Robust debate is at the heart of our democracies but at the same time mutual respect is important," Stoltenberg said adding that he had discussed about the issues with both governments over the weekend.
The NATO chief’s remarks came after the Dutch government canceled Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's flight permit to the Netherlands and then blocked a convoy carrying Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from entering the Turkish Consulate in Rotterdam on Saturday.
When Turkish citizens in Rotterdam peacefully protested these developments, they were met by police using batons, dogs and water cannons, in what some analysts called a disproportionate use of force.
Earlier on Monday, Ankara sent diplomatic notes to the Netherlands in protest against the recent incidents.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.