Turkish President Erdogan arrives in US for NATO summit

WASHINGTON: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in the US on Tuesday to attend a NATO leaders’ summit.

Washington is hosting the three-day summit where 32 NATO allies will make key decisions about how to continue to protect their 1 billion citizens as the world faces “the most dangerous” security environment since the Cold War, as well as mark the 75th anniversary of the alliance.

The leaders will exchange views on the organization’s efforts for deterrence and defense in the face of challenges and risks to the alliance’s geography, as well as the situation in Ukraine and assistance for that country.

Terrorism, one of the main threats to the alliance, will also be discussed.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, EU representatives, and leaders of NATO’s partners in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, will attend relevant sessions.

Erdogan will attend the celebration for NATO’s 75th anniversary at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium later Tuesday.

On Wednesday,
after a welcoming ceremony by Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and US President Joe Biden, the NATO leaders will pose for a family photo.

Trkiye’s expectations

Erdogan will attend a meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the heads of state and government level, where Stoltenberg and Biden will deliver opening remarks.

Before leaving for the US, Erdogan said Tuesday that Trkiye’s expectations for the summit are to obtain results that pay heed to allies’ sensitivities about national security and strengthen the spirit of unity and solidarity of the alliance.

“During our talks, we will draw attention to the rising threat of terror in the world, first and foremost in nearby regions. We will underscore the importance of stepping up NATO’s efforts to put up a determined and holistic fight against terrorist groups,” he told reporters.

Stressing that Trkiye is one of the top five NATO allies in contributions to its missions and operations, Erdogan said his country is doing more than its share.

Erdogan will a
lso hold bilateral meetings with participating heads of state and government on the margins of the summit, including Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who was appointed to lead NATO beginning Oct. 1.

The president said he would bring up the “ongoing massacres” against Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

“We will stress that the international community has remained incapable of stopping Israel in the face of this grave picture, and that it’s impossible for the global conscience to heave a sigh of relief unless a just and lasting peace is established in Palestine.

“While voicing these matters at the highest level, I will raise all our assessments concerning all of them during the bilateral talks I will hold with allied heads of state and government as well,” he added.

Since it was founded April 4, 1949, in Washington, with 12 founding members, the alliance has expanded to 32 members.

Trkiye, a member of the alliance for more than 72 years, joined in 1952.

Source: Anadolu Agency