Kerry calls for ‘clearer’ security arrangement between Gulf countries and US
Sevil Erkuş - ANTALYA
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Antalya, Turkey, Wednesday, May 13, 2015. AP PhotoDefining a “clearer” security arrangement between Gulf countries and the United States is critical to fighting terrorism, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on May 13.
“Defining ... a clearer defense arrangement between the GCC and other friendly countries and the U.S. is going to be critical to helping to push back against terrorism, violence and some of the other activities that take place in the region that are unsettling all of those countries,” Kerry told reporters at the NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya.
Kerry was due to take part in a later summit with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.
Speaking in Antalya, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also emphasized the regional threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“One of the important issues at this meeting, in different formats, will be how NATO can do even more in fighting terrorism and in fighting ISIL,” Stoltenberg told reporters at the start of the meeting.
He also called for the full implementation of the Minsk cease-fire agreement in Ukraine. “We call on Russia to stop supporting the separatists and to withdraw all its forces from eastern Ukraine,” he said.
“We are also going to address partnership and cooperation with Afghanistan. We are going to discuss and address the long term partnership we foresee with Afghanistan after the end of the present mission, Resolute Support,” Stoltenberg added.
Turkish PM offers to host next NATO summit in Turkey
In his opening remarks at the two–day meeting, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu noted the challenge of escalating violence on Turkey’s borders, which are also NATO’s southern borders.
“Being the only NATO country that shares a land border with DAESH-controlled areas, this terrorist organization is a direct threat to our national security,” Davutoğlu said, using the Arabic acronym to refer to ISIL.
He also said Turkey was ready to host the next NATO Summit, after next year’s meeting in Warsaw.
On Afghanistan, Davutoğlu said Turkey has offered to assume responsibility for future support. Turkey is contributing $60 million for the financial sustainment of the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces over the 2015-2017 period, he noted.
“While extending our hand to Ukraine, we should not forget particularly the sufferings of the Crimean people,” Davutoğlu also added.
The Turkish prime minister met with U.S. Secretary of State Kerry on May 13 in Antalya ahead of the NATO meeting.