NATO chief praises Turkey’s efforts, calls it key ally
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has praised Turkey as a valuable and key ally and underlined its efforts to stop the ongoing war in Ukraine through facilitating a meeting between Kiev and Moscow in Antalya.
Stoltenberg came to Turkey to attend the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, where he had talks with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. The leaders discussed the developments in the aftermath of the Russian attack against Ukraine and the response to be given by NATO.
“Turkey is a key ally. It is very important that two warring sides come together. We should thank Turkey for its efforts,” Stoltenberg told private broadcaster NTV in an interview on March 11 in Antalya. The NATO chief has referred to the meeting between Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers, Sergey Lavrov and Dmytro Kuleba, respectively, with the participation of Çavuşoğlu.
On a question about NATO’s response in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Stoltenberg confirmed that the alliance is augmenting its forces in the region. “We have to take long-term decisions. We have to see what we should do in the Mediterranean. This is an ongoing process,” he said.
The NATO chief underlined that the world is in a new reality, and it will have consequences for everyone, including NATO, saying, “We will be in defense and protect our allies.”
NATO leaders will meet at a summit in June to discuss the Strategic Concept, a document that outlines the new threats against the alliance and ways to respond to them, Stoltenberg stated, adding, “This document is very important. Important decisions will be taken in June in Madrid. We will evaluate how China and Russia are working together.”
“We are in a more dangerous world. We should reevaluate our collective security,” the NATO chief said, recalling that the alliance has increased its budget. On a question about Germany’s decision to increase its defense budget to 100 billion euros after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Stoltenberg underlined Germany as a very important country and economy in Europe. “You know we call on all the allies to invest more in defense. We welcome Germany’s decision. Germany is a big economy. This shows how the NATO allies care about this threat,” he stated.
On his attendance at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Stoltenberg said he was happy and honored to be invited to such a forum. “This demonstrates how Turkey is important. Turkey is a country that can bring global actors together. I thank Mr. Çavuşoğlu for his invitation.”