Turkish President Erdogan heads to Washington to attend NATO leaders summit

'During NATO leaders summit, we will raise massacres of Palestinian people in Gaza, where our shared values going through sincerity test,' says Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of his departure

13:08 - 9/07/2024 Tuesday
Update: 13:15 - 9/07/2024 Tuesday
File photo
File photo

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday headed to Washington to attend NATO leaders summit in the US capital on July 9-11.

"During NATO leaders summit, we will raise massacres of the Palestinian people in Gaza, where our shared values are going through sincerity test," said President Erdogan during a press conference ahead of his departure for Washington.

"We will emphasize that the international community has failed to stop Israel and that the global conscience will not be able to breathe a sigh of relief until a just and lasting peace is established in Palestine," said Erdogan, adding that he will also discuss Ankara's assessments during bilateral meetings with the leaders of the allied countries.

Erdogan added: "We patiently follow the process (Gaza cease-fire talks in Doha). Our intelligence chief and foreign minister follow it. Hopefully, we'll get the expected results soon."

Ronen Bar, the head of Israel's Shin Bet internal security services, and CIA Director William Burns arrived in Egypt on Monday for talks on a Gaza cease-fire and prisoner swap deal between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Israeli media also reported that the head of Israel's Mossad intelligence service, David Barnea, will travel to Qatar on Wednesday to meet with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, CIA director Burns, and Egypt's intelligence chief Abbas Kamel.

For months, efforts by the US, Qatar, and Egypt to mediate an agreement between Israel and Hamas for a hostage exchange and cease-fire have been hampered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rejection of Hamas' call to halt hostilities.

Erdogan said they will hold consultations at the summit to boost NATO's deterrence and defense structure and to strengthen the capabilities and capabilities of the allies. "Our summit has a special meaning as it falls on the 75th anniversary of NATO's establishment."

"We will follow up on the decisions we took in Vilnius last year. On this occasion, with the participation of representatives of the European Union in a session, we will meet with NATO partners in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and New Zealand at the leaders' level."

Noting that the last session of the summit will be held in the format of the NATO-Ukraine Council, Erdogan said: "Our expectation from the summit is to achieve results that take into account the national security sensitivities of the allies and strengthen the alliance solidarity and the spirit of unity.

"The implementation of the decisions we took in Vilnius on the fight against terrorism and the removal of barriers to defense industry trade between the allies is important in this respect. In our meetings, we will draw attention to the increasing terrorist threat in the world, especially in our immediate neighborhood. We will also underline the need to increase NATO's efforts for a decisive and holistic fight against terrorist organizations."

He added: "Türkiye's commitment to and support for Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence is well known. While designing the steps to be taken to support Ukraine, we also maintain our principled stance that NATO should not be made a party to the war. We have stated from day one that a just peace will have no losers.

"To this end, we have shouldered responsibility from the very beginning, starting with the Istanbul process, to first secure a cease-fire and then to pave the way to a lasting peace. Every day of gunfire, bloodshed, and loss of life shows that we are on the right track."

- 'Challenges posed by emerging technologies will also be on our agenda'

Stating that the consultations they will hold in Washington will also make significant contributions in terms of determining NATO's new vision for the alliance's southern flank, the Turkish president noted: "The cyber world, the fight against disinformation, and the challenges brought by emerging technologies will also be on our agenda."

Emphasizing that the Washington summit will once again place on the record the truth that the pivotal role in Europe-Atlantic region's security belongs to NATO, Erdogan said: "Türkiye is one of the top five allies contributing the most to NATO's missions and operations.

"We are doing more than our part in terms of burden sharing. We are one of the backbone countries of NATO with the capabilities we have developed on land, at sea and in the air. The importance we attach to the alliance in this period of diversifying threats is clear."

- 'TRNC full member of the Organization of Turkic States in our eyes'

On the participation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in the Informal Summit of the Organization of Turkic States held in Azerbaijan's Shusha on July 6, Erdogan said: "TRNC is already a full member of the Organization of Turkic States in our eyes. In this regard, their approach (members of the Organization of Turkic States), especially Azerbaijan, has almost reached the same position with us. As it is known, the TRNC was present at the last Shusha Summit."

"We are endeavoring how we can bring the TRNC to the point of full membership," he said, and underlined that Ankara was developing this with the Turkic states.

Regarding outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's election as the NATO secretary-general, Erdogan said: "Of course, we will also have meetings with Rutte in America. He told me that he would visit Türkiye before taking office. I believe that we will carry out our steps in the same way with Rutte, just as we carried out the process in a very sincere atmosphere with Stoltenberg."

Mark Rutte was elected NATO secretary-general on June 26. Rutte will take over as the NATO chief on Oct. 1, when current NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's term expires after 10 years.

Regarding fight against terrorism and the support Ankara receives from the alliance, Erdogan said: "Are we in the position we want with NATO at this point? I am telling you frankly and sincerely, we are currently endeavoring to overcome these problems."

"Particularly with NATO, we have not yet got what we want and expect on the Israel-Palestine issue. I hope that we will bring these issues to the agenda again during our meetings in the US and get the results we expect," he added.

Erdogan is visiting Washington for a meeting of the heads of state and government of the 32 members of NATO, their partner countries, and the EU. The alliance marks its 75th anniversary this year.

#Recep Tayyip Erdogan
#Turkish President
16 days ago