NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Turkey for its essential contributions to the Alliance during a visit to Ankara on Monday (16 April 2018). The Secretary General is meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to prepare for the Brussels Summit in July and to discuss current security challenges.
Meeting with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the Secretary General praised Turkey’s contributions to NATO operations, including in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and to the fight against Daesh. “NATO stands with you in solidarity,” he stressed, noting the ways in which the Alliance contributes to Turkey’s security.
“We support Turkey with assurance measures, including AWACS surveillance aircraft, naval patrols and exercises,” said Mr. Stoltenberg. He highlighted that NATO air and missile defence systems help protect Turkey and the Alliance has provided billions in funding for military infrastructure in the country. Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu and the Secretary General also discussed the situation in Syria, including Operation Olive Branch and the horrendous attack with chemical weapons in Douma. “NATO strongly condemns the repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime as a threat to international peace and security,” said Mr. Stoltenberg. He added that those responsible must be held accountable and NATO fully supports the efforts led by the United Nations to achieve a lasting political solution in Syria.
During his visit, the Secretary General also met with Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli and other senior officials.