ANKARA (IGFA) – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a press conference at Ataturk Airport before leaving for Lithuania.
Declaring that they would move to Vilnius to attend the summit of heads of state and government starting tomorrow, President Erdogan said that they held the summit at a time when the negative impact of the war in Ukraine on global stability and security has intensified.
Declaring that they will exchange views on defense and security issues in NATO territory and sign important decisions at this critical time, President Erdogan said: “We will review the decisions we made at the Madrid Summit in order to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense structure. alliance and support partners, especially Ukraine. On this occasion, we are organizing the first meeting of the NATO Ukraine Council, which was created as a token of support for Ukraine by NATO and its allies. We believe that an early end to the war by a just and lasting peace will further facilitate the process of Ukraine’s membership in NATO.” He said.
President Erdogan said they have decided to update the alliance’s defense plans in Madrid and are looking forward to their approval at the Vilnius summit.
Stating that they, as always, acted in solidarity with the alliance, despite their efforts to move forward in this process, President Erdogan said:
“We will evaluate the work carried out in Vilnius to usher in a new phase of NATO’s efforts to combat terrorism. Another important outcome of the summit will be the renewal of commitments on a minimum 2 percent defense spending. Of course, speaking of increasing defense spending, on the other hand, we see that the brakes are imposed by restrictions. The restrictions and obstacles that some of our allies unfairly impose on our country limit us. Our country, whose defense spending in 2019 was almost 2 percent, has now decreased to 1.30 percent in this area. At the summit, I will reiterate our call to allies who impose sanctions and restrictions on Turkey to quickly correct this mistake.”
Emphasizing that another item on the agenda is NATO expansion, President Erdogan said that Turkey is a country that has always supported NATO’s open door policy.
Expressing that they have expressed their support for this policy at every opportunity, while North Macedonia has been holding on to the door for 16 years just because of the name issue, President Erdogan said: “The roadmap has been prepared through a tripartite agreement, signed in Madrid last year. regarding the applications of Sweden and Finland to join NATO. Acting in accordance with its obligations, Finland officially became a member of the alliance in April. As for Sweden, the process is ongoing. Our respective institutions maintain their contacts with their Swedish counterparts in a transparent and friendly manner. Tonight I will have a trilateral meeting with the distinguished Secretary General and Prime Minister of Sweden. The course of the process of Sweden’s accession to NATO depends on the fulfillment of the issues fixed in the tripartite agreement. We are almost speechless when we say that we, as Turkey, must indiscriminately fight terrorist organizations and their offshoots.” used his words.
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