NATO Secretary General shows Alliance solidarity in Turkey
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Thursday (9 October) in Ankara and said that he came to hear Turkey’s views and concerns on the situation in the region. At the start of his second trip as NATO Secretary General, Mr. Stoltenberg held a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu and said that NATO is closely monitoring events close to Turkey’s southern border.
“ISIL poses a grave threat to the Iraqi people, to the Syrian people, to the wider region, and to NATO nations”, the Secretary General said. “So it is important that the whole international community stays united in this long-term effort. I welcome the decisive actions taken by the United States, with many Allies and partners. And I welcome the recent vote in the Turkish Parliament to authorize an even more active role of Turkey in the crisis”.
Mr. Stoltenberg said that NATO is playing its role helping protect Turkish territory and citizens against missile attacks. “Our Patriot deployment reinforces Turkey’s air defences”, he said. “NATO stands ready to support all Allies in defending their security”.
The NATO Secretary General praised Turkey’s role as a steadfast Ally contributing to the Alliance’s collective defence and to the stability of the region and Turkey’s significant contribution in Kosovo and in Afghanistan.
“We will continue to count on Turkey in Afghanistan. Next year, you will be one of the framework nations as part of our new mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces. And we are working together to ensure that we can launch the mission on January 1st, as planned”, he said.
The Secretary General said that Allies took important decisions at the Wales Summit and are now turning those decisions into reality. “So I look forward to continue working with Turkey to keep NATO the bedrock of our security”, he added.
Mr. Stoltenberg also met with Defence Minister Yılmaz, with the Chief of General Staff General Necdet Őzel and with other high-level officials.