Erdoğan to talk to Dutch, Spanish PMs before NATO summit
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will host Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and exchange a phone call with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez this week before attending an extraordinary NATO summit in Brussels on March 24 in which the latest developments in Ukraine and the alliance’s response will be largely discussed.
Rutte announced his visit to Turkey at a cabinet meeting last week, stressing that he will see Erdoğan in Ankara on March 22. Describing Turkey as a very important ally for the defense of NATO’s eastern flank amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Dutch politician called on all European nations to engage more with Turkey.
Apart from the war in Ukraine, Erdoğan and Rutte will also discuss the bilateral ties and ways to further promote economic and trade bonds. The Netherlands is Turkey’s one of the largest economic partners.
During the week, Erdoğan is expected to exchange a phone call with his Spanish counterpart as well. The two leaders will review the developments in Ukraine and how NATO should respond to them. Erdoğan will also raise Turkey-EU ties with both Rutte and Sanchez.
The most important diplomatic activity of this week will be NATO’s extraordinary meeting slated for March 24 in Brussels. The allied leaders had their first meeting through a videoconference in late February and will meet in person for the first time after the war began.
U.S. President Joe Biden is also expected to be present at the NATO summit and will also join the EU’s leaders’ summit on March 25. In Brussels, a meeting between Erdoğan and Biden is also envisaged, according to sources. The two men had a phone conversation on March 9 to discuss the crisis in Ukraine.