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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that he will travel to Turkey tomorrow and meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Stoltenberg said that NATO would express its condolences in connection with the terrible earthquake in Turkey; He also noted that the NATO membership of Sweden and Finland, which Turkey has vetoed, will also be discussed.

NATO defense ministers have gathered in Brussels with an agenda to “accelerate the supply of arms and ammunition” to Ukraine, which has been pushing for military aircraft from allies to better counter the Russian invasion. Secretary General Stoltenberg announced at a press conference after a two-day meeting at NATO Headquarters that he was on his way to Turkey.

Stoltenberg answered questions about the backstage debate after saying for the first time yesterday that “Finnish and Swedish NATO membership can be considered separately.”

Journalists: “You always said that the two countries should be approved together, has your attitude changed?” Stoltenberg said: “Finland and Sweden applied together. These two countries signed a memorandum with Turkey at a summit in Madrid. Then all 30 members, including Turkey, signed the membership protocol. When I was in Turkey in October, I said that Sweden and Finland had fulfilled their obligations. And I called on Turkey to ratify the membership agreement of both countries. I have been asking Turkey about this for several months. This is my position and it has not changed.”

However, at the same time, Turkey has formed a different position towards Finland and Sweden, Stoltenberg said: “Hungary and Turkey have not yet ratified the agreements. This is Turkey’s decision, Turkey has two membership protocols. approve it separately. This is not a NATO decision, this is a Turkish decision. My position is that both countries should be ratified by all allies. We made our decision already in June, we invited both countries at the same time. will enter as soon as possible, and I believe that both will enter. Tomorrow I will go to Turkey, and this issue is on my agenda,” he said.

condolence visit to Ankara

Responding to a question about NATO earthquake assistance for Turkey, Stoltenberg said: “The losses caused by the earthquakes in Turkey scared all of us. NATO allies provide important support to Turkey. We need to continue this support and stand in solidarity to continue to support Turkey.” “As NATO, we will send shelters for earthquake victims who were left homeless after the earthquake. These shelters will be delivered to the earthquake area in 2 days. Tomorrow I will go to Turkey. I will meet with President Erdogan and Foreign Minister Cavusoglu. I express my solidarity and condolences. What are the immediate needs, what kind of help and “We will evaluate together whether support can be sent. Today, at the end of the defense ministers’ meeting, we called on all allies to send more urgent needs, such as tents and blankets.”

More weapons and ammunition to Ukraine

After two days of meetings, NATO defense ministers decided to increase support for Ukraine and strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense. “We need to ensure that our deterrence and defense remain strong and credible,” Stoltenberg said, noting the changing global security challenges.

At the meeting, the ministers stressed the importance of increased investment in NATO defense, and also talked about increasing budgetary allocations for defense investments to be made after 2024. The meeting also discussed ways to replenish stockpiles of weapons and ammunition to meet Ukraine’s need for “more ammunition”.

In this context, the ministers decided to “revise NATO’s ammunition stockpile capacity targets, as well as increase industrial capacity and work closely with industry.”

The Allies also agreed on the need to work closely with the defense industry to increase production capacity. Ministers also agreed to increase support for other partners at risk, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Moldova.

Stoltenberg will leave his post in October

After the occupation of Ukraine by Russia in March 2022, the NATO leadership decided to extend the mandate of Secretary General Stoltenberg until September 30, 2023.

In a statement made by a NATO spokesman ahead of the defense ministers’ meeting, it was announced that Stoltenberg, who has served as secretary general since 2014, will end his term in October 2023, as planned.

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said that Stoltenberg “does not intend to seek a further extension of his mandate” from now on. “The term of office of the Secretary General was extended three times, and in total he served for about nine years,” Lungescu said.

The former Norwegian prime minister, who turns 64 in March, became head of NATO shortly after Russia’s invasion of Crimea in October 2014. Stoltenberg will take over as Governor of the Bank of Norway in October 2023.

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