NATO chief congratulates Erdoğan on Turkish election win
LUXEMBOURG – AFP
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on June 25 congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on his re-election, but stressed the alliance was founded on “core values” of democracy, rights and rule of law.
Turkey is an important member of NATO because of its strategic location bordering Iraq and Syria and close to Russia. But there have been tensions with other alliance members, notably over Erdoğan’s rapprochement with Moscow, signing a deal to buy Russian air defense missiles, and with the U.S. over the latter’s support for Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“I will congratulate President Erdoğan on his re-election as president. I also congratulate the Turkish people on the high turnout in the elections,” Stoltenberg said as he arrived for a meeting with EU foreign and defense ministers in Luxembourg.
“NATO is based on some core values: Democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty. I personally attach great importance to these values and I underline the importance of these values in many different NATO capitals including Ankara when I met Turkish leaders there,” Stoltenberg said.