New NATO chief due in Ankara to discuss ISIL threat
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of Norway speaks at his first press conference on his first day of work at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Oct. 1. AFP PhotoJens Stoltenberg, the new NATO secretary-general, is set to pay his first visit to Turkey since he took office on Oct. 1. Stoltenberg is expected to discuss security concerns posed to Turkey by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“At the meetings, a detailed exchange of views on growing instability in the Middle East, primarily Iraq and Syria, and current situation in Ukraine, as well as other principal issues on NATO’s agenda in light of the Wales Summit decisions are expected to take place,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement Oct. 8.
Stoltenberg will meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and will hold talks with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu at a working breakfast, and he will meet with Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz and Chief of General Staff General Necdet Özel as well. The secretary-general will also visit the U.S. Patriot units deployed to Gaziantep on Oct. 10.
Stoltenberg’s visit comes at a critical moment as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) intensifies its campaign to seize the control of the Kurdish-populated town of Kobane right across from the Turkish border. NATO has already pledged to activate the alliance’s principle of collective defense as outlined in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty in the case of an attack directed against Turkey.