Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday (03 November 2022) met the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, in Istanbul. They addressed a range of issues, including Turkey’s contributions to NATO security, the situation in the Aegean, the common fight against terrorism, Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to NATO, and Allied support for Ukraine.
The Secretary General thanked Turkey for its important contributions to our shared security and the major role it plays in the fight against terrorism, including in NATO’s advising mission in Iraq.
They addressed Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine. Mr Stoltenberg commended Turkey, and President Erdogan personally, for negotiating safe passage for Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea. He welcomed the continuation of the agreement, calling it a “life-line, on which hundreds of millions of people around the world depend.”
The Secretary General recalled that at the Madrid Summit in June, all Allies made an historic decision to invite Finland and Sweden to join NATO, and Turkey, Finland and Sweden also agreed a Trilateral Memorandum. He welcomed the major, concrete steps taken by both countries to put the memorandum into practice.
He said, “Finland and Sweden have delivered on their agreement with Turkey. They have become strong partners in our joint fight against terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations. And they are clearly committed to a long-term engagement with Turkey to address your security concerns.” He stated that “it is time to welcome Finland and Sweden as full members of NATO,” stressing that finalising their accession process is even more important in these dangerous times, “to prevent any misunderstanding or miscalculation in Moscow” and to send a clear sign that NATO’s door remains open.
During his visit to Turkey, Mr. Stoltenberg will meet the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan, and the Minister of Defence, Hulusi Akar. He will also travel to Çanakkale to visit the Gallipoli Peninsula Historical Site, a memorial site commemorating battles fought in the First World War.