NATO Secretary General discusses security issues with Turkish Foreign Minister

NATO Secretary General discusses security issues with Turkish Foreign Minister

On Friday, 22 January 2021, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu at NATO Headquarters. They discussed a range of issues, including the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, Afghanistan and Libya.

The Secretary General welcomed the continuation of NATO-brokered talks between Turkey and Greece on a military deconfliction mechanism in the Eastern Mediterranean. “The de-confliction mechanism has helped to reduce tensions and create the space for political discussions to resolve the underlying issues. I also welcome the Exploratory Talks taking place in Istanbul next week.”, the Secretary General said.

On Afghanistan, Mr. Stoltenberg reiterated that, at the next NATO Defence Ministers meeting in February, NATO will need to address the future of its training mission. “Whatever path we choose, it is important that we do so together, in a coordinated and deliberate way”, he said, adding that NATO supports the Afghan peace talks and, as part of this process, stands ready to further adjust its presence.

Also on the agenda was the planned expansion of NATO’s Training Mission in Iraq to help ensure ISIS never returns.  On Libya, the Secretary General expressed his concern about the situation and restated the long standing NATO position that the Alliance remains committed to providing advice in the area of defence and security institution building, taking into account political and security conditions.

The Secretary General also thanked Turkey for its significant contributions to NATO operations and for leading NATO’s high readiness forces in 2021.

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