Holding a press conference before departing for the United Kingdom, President Erdoğan said: “The indivisibility of security and the spirit of solidarity and unity are the pillars that support the NATO Alliance. Adherence to these principles is imperative in order for NATO to preserve its credibility and reliability in the 2020s.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke to reporters at Ankara Esenboğa Aiport before leaving for London, where he will attend the NATO Leaders Meeting marking 70 years of the Alliance.
“NATO LEADERS MEETING WILL BE HELD AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF THREATS DIVERSIFYING GLOBALLY”
Stating that the NATO Leaders Meeting will be held during a period when global uncertainties and threats have diversified and the international security has become fragile, President Erdoğan noted that their priority is to emphasize NATO’s unity, solidarity, and coordination.
Underscoring that Turkey pursues a multifaceted foreign policy in cooperation with NATO within the framework of its own priorities, President Erdoğan said: “Our good relations with Russia and other countries are not alternative but complementary to our relations with our allies.”
“IT IS NOW INEVITABLE THAT NATO UPDATE ITSELF”
Stressing that although Turkey attaches great importance to the umbrella of security provided by NATO, it is also evident for NATO to renew itself, President Erdoğan added: “NATO has to act in a manner that is much more determined, effective and proactive in the face of especially asymmetric threats posed by terrorist organizations. It is now inevitable that NATO update itself in line with today’s threat priorities. In this regard, we expect a very strong solidarity from our allies against the attacks that our country faces.”
Underlining that NATO, with the participation of all its members, must achieve a transformation that would enable a principled and determined stance against terrorist organizations, President Erdoğan noted: “The indivisibility of security and the spirit of solidarity and unity are the pillars that support the NATO Alliance. Adherence to these principles is imperative in order for NATO to preserve its credibility and reliability in the 2020s.”
“TURKEY ASSUMES A CRITICAL ROLE IN THE PREVENTION OF MIGRATION INFLUX”
Stressing that Turkey’s southern borders constitute NATO’s boundary as well, President Erdoğan said that incidents that effect Europe and other allies besides Turkey take place beyond that boundary.
Terror and conflicts as well as irregular migration movements pose a threat to the stability all over the Euro-Atlantic region, underscored President Erdoğan, and added: “Turkey assumes a critical role in the fight against terror and the prevention of migration influx. In this respect, Turkey is an indispensable partner of NATO. Given this strategic picture, our allies’ sincere solidarity with Turkey doesn’t weaken, but quite the contrary, strengthens our alliance.
Highlighting that Turkey is among the top 5 countries in terms of contribution to NATO’s missions and operations, President Erdoğan stated: “We rank the 8th in terms of participation in NATO’s joint budgets. Our defense expenditures have reached 1.9 percent of our GDP, approaching 2 percent. We are the only country that has fought in close combat and defeated DAESH in Syria. We expect these sincere efforts of ours to be rewarded by our allies. We want support with no strings attached in our fight against terror.”
Following the press conference, President Erdoğan left Turkey for London to attend the NATO Leaders Meeting.