Turkish FM stresses cooperation in Eastern, Central Europe
“What we are discussing at NATO, particularly when we are talking about the (next) 10 years, (are) the future of NATO, the adaptation of NATO to new challenges, and the threats,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told the 7th Warsaw Security Forum.
“And that presents us many opportunities of cooperation, particularly between Turkey and Eastern and Central European countries, including the Baltic regions,” he added.
Çavuşoğlu was speaking along with his counterparts from Finland, Pekka Olavi Haavisto, Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, and Poland, Zbigniew Rau, at a panel discussion titled “From the Baltic to the Black Sea: Unlocking the Strategic Potential of the Region.”
“I think Poland also sees like that. That is why Poland sent airplanes to the Incirlik base in Turkey recently to support NATO’s efforts to that end, and vice versa, we actually sent F16s to Poland to support NATO’s air policing,” the Turkish minister said.
“And we have also officers in Poland, and at NATO missions in Poland and Baltic States,” he added. “But indivisibility of the security of Euro Atlantic is the main principle of NATO right now.”
“Therefore, Baltics, eastern flanks and southern flank of NATO, the Indian Baltic, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, and this is how Turkey sees,” he stated. “In addition to our cooperation within NATO or other organizations, Turkey has been engaging with the regional countries, Eastern and European countries.”
The challenges talked about these days mostly are COVID-19 and predictions about the post-COVID-19 era, Çavuşoğlu said, adding: “But we are facing other challenges as well in our region and beyond. Hybrid, and also other kinds of threats like cyber threats, along with the conventional threat that we have been facing like terrorism, and many other challenges.”
He also underscored the “very important” trilateral mechanism between Turkey, Poland, and Romania and said: “We decided to upgrade this mechanism to the leaders' level, and in Turkey next year, we will bring the leaders together.”
“So, there are many platforms, and many areas; defense industry cooperation and cooperation in IT, logistics and connectivity, connectivity in the Balkans and energy. There are many areas that we have been cooperating with the countries in Eastern and Central Europe.”
On Monday, Çavuşoğlu met Polish President Andrzej Duda.
He is also due to meet with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto, Elzbieta Witek, the speaker of Poland’s lower house of parliament, and Helga Schmid, the secretary-general of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.