Secretary General: Turkey is a strong and valued member of our Alliance

  • 09 Sep. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 09 Sep. 2016 17:25

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commended Turkey for its contributions to the Alliance and to the international fight against terrorism in a visit to Ankara on Friday (9 September 2016). At a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Mr. Stoltenberg stressed that ''a democratic, strong and stable Turkey is important for our shared security.''

The Secretary General welcomed that Turkey plays key role in the fight against ISIL, helps build stability in Afghanistan, and is central to NATO’s efforts to cut the lines of human trafficking in the Aegean Sea. He stressed that the Alliance supports Turkey with increased naval and air assets, and defensive missile systems on the border with Syria.

Mr. Stoltenberg reiterated NATO’s strong condemnation of July’s attempted coup and support for the Turkish people and their democratic institutions. “Any attempt to undermine or attack democracy, in any of our countries, is an attack on the very foundation of our Alliance,” he said. The Secretary General also expressed condolences for those who lost their lives, and respect for the courage of the Turkish people. He added that those involved in the failed coup should face due legal process. “I am confident that Turkey will keep its commitment to the rule of law and the democratic values at the heart of our Alliance,” he said.

On Friday, the Secretary General also met with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Defence Minister Fikri Işık, several parliamentary leaders, and other senior officials. He also toured the Grand National Assembly, damaged by the failed coup.  Mr. Stoltenberg met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday evening, at the start of his visit to Ankara.