During a three-day visit to Türkiye, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met President Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan in Istanbul on Friday (4 November 2022).
They addressed Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine. Mr Stoltenberg commended Türkiye, and President Erdogan personally, for negotiating the safe passage for Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea. He welcomed the continuation of the agreement, a life-line on which hundreds of millions of people around the world depend. He also commended Türkiye on its role in mediating prisoner of war exchanges between Ukraine and Russia, as well as for its strong support for Ukraine’s right of self-defence.
The two leaders also discussed finalising the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. The Secretary General recalled that at the Madrid Summit in June, all Allies made an historic decision to invite Finland and Sweden to join the Alliance. Türkiye, Finland and Sweden also agreed a Trilateral Memorandum, and have now established the new Permanent Joint Mechanism. He welcomed the major, concrete steps already taken by both countries to put the memorandum into practice, and stressed that their accession will make NATO stronger.
On Thursday (03 November 2022), the Secretary General met the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. They addressed a range of issues, including Türkiye’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 Türkiye 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.
At a press conference with Minister Çavusoglu, the Secretary General said, “Finland and Sweden have delivered on their agreement with Türkiye. They have become strong partners in our joint fight against terrorism, in all it’s for s and manifestations.And they are clearly committed to a long-term engagement with Türkiye to address joint security concerns.” He stressed 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 Türkiye, Mr. Stoltenberg also met the Minister of Defence Hulusi Akar. Together, they travelled to Çanakkale to visit the Gallipoli Peninsula Historical Site, a memorial site commemorating battles fought in the First World War.