Turkey, Europe

Turkish foreign minister, NATO chief meet in Ankara

They discussed wide range of issues including NATO-EU ties and Turkey’s purchase of S-400 air defense system

Ali Murat Alhas   | 06.05.2019
Turkish foreign minister, NATO chief meet in Ankara


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday met in capital Ankara and discussed NATO-EU relations and Turkey's purchase of S-400 air defense system. 

Cavusoglu and Stoltenberg gathered at the Cankaya Palace in Ankara on the occasion of NATO's 25th Mediterranean Dialogue meeting. 

In a Twitter post, Cavusoglu said: "[We] made evaluations on a wide range of issues including NATO-EU relations and Turkey's S-400 purchase. Discussed the preparations of the NATO Heads of State and Government meeting to be held in London." 

Speaking at the forum, Stoltenberg said NATO was determined to improve security in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Stressing that the world was becoming more complicated and interconnected, he said taking precautions against terror was better than interventions. 

Stoltenberg also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit. "Pleased to be back in Ankara to meet with [President] Erdogan," the NATO chief wrote on Twitter ahead of his meeting with the Turkish president. 

"Turkey is a highly valued ally and NATO stands in solidarity with Turkey as it faces serious security challenges," Stoltenberg went on to say. 

Later speaking at a joint news conference, Cavusoglu stressed on need of cooperation to fight terrorism and irregular migration.

“We should understand that we cannot reach [desired] results by being selective in these issues,” Cavusoglu said.

Touching upon Ankara’s procurement of air defense system S-400 from Russia, he said NATO knows the best Turkey’s need for these systems as the alliance closely follows the threats in the region.

For his part, Stoltenberg said it is Turkey’s own decision to purchase S-400 air and missile defense system. 

"But at the same time, I am concerned about the potential consequences of the decision to buy S-400. Because U.S. has made it clear that they will impose sanctions," he said.

Commenting on Turkey's role in NATO, he said Turkey is “an important and highly valued NATO ally”. 

Turkey also plays an important role in NATO’s new training mission in Iraq. It is strengthening Iraq’s security forces to help ensure that Daesh terror group can never return, Stoltenberg added. 

“Turkey is also one of the biggest contributors to our Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, helping ensure the country never again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists. Turkey is also helping build stability in the Western Balkans as part of NATO’s peacekeeping operation in Kosovo,” he went on to say. 

NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue was initiated in 1994 by the North Atlantic Council. It currently involves seven non-NATO countries of the Mediterranean region: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia.

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