Selin ATAY-TDO-(13.02.2020)-  NATO is "ready to step up" to fight against Daesh/ISIS and provide more security in the Middle East, the alliance's secretary general told reporters Wednesday.

At a two-day meeting in Brussels, NATO defense ministers are discussing security and stability in the Middle East with a special focus on the fight against Daesh, as well as the alliance's role in Afghanistan and its response to Russian missile deployments.

"It is extremely important for us that ISIS never returns," Jens Stoltenberg underlined, referring to the "horrendous violence" caused by the terror organization.

Stoltenberg urged the ministers to reiterate their commitment to NATO's training mission Iraq, which he said plays a crucial role in the fight against Daesh.

He also cited the alliance's training mission in Afghanistan meant to reduce violence between the government and Taliban militants.

Noting that NATO is already in the Middle East, Stoltenberg said the alliance has made significant contributions to the fight against terrorism.

"NATO has the capacity to do more in the Middle East and to protect its gains," said Jens Stoltenberg, stressing that NATO also maintains close relations with partners in the region, such as Jordan and Tunisia. "

Stoltenberg did not hide his concerns over the new Russian missile systems that "violating the INF treaty." Despite Russia's non-respect for the arms control agreement, NATO "has no intention to deploy new land-based missile in Europe," he said.

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