NATO's counterterrorism role discussed at tripartite summit

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 25.08.2017 23:38

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu participated on Friday in a Turkey, Romania and Poland trilateral meeting of foreign ministers in Poland along with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, where strengthening NATO's role in the fight against terrorism was reportedly discussed.

Çavuşoğlu visited Warsaw, Poland yesterday for talks and attended the foreign ministers' meeting. Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu and Stoltenberg participated in the meeting at the Polish Foreign Ministry.

Ankara has repeatedly called on NATO take on a stronger role against terrorism and show solidarity for Turkey's fight against terrorist groups.

"NATO should reinforce its deterrence and needs to be more active, more supportive for allies in the fight against terrorism," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said in late May.

"Terrorism is the primary threat among those menaces. NATO countries should be in full cooperation. The latest terrorist attacks have proven that terrorism is not a regional problem," he added.

The participants also exchanged ideas on the security issue on NATO's eastern and southern borders in light of decisions that were taken by heads of state and government at the Wales, Warsaw and Poland summits.

The first of the tripartite foreign ministers meetings was held in Warsaw on June 9, 2016, and the second was held in Ankara on Aug. 25, 2016.

Stoltenberg attended the first session on political military consultations between the foreign ministers. After the meeting, Stoltenberg and Çavuşoğlu held a closed-door meeting.

Çavuşoğlu attended the opening ceremony of the new Turkish Embassy in Warsaw on the sidelines of the meetings in Poland. Following the opening ceremony, he addressed Turkish citizens who had gathered in the embassy, where he said he was pleased the new building for the embassy was open.

Çavuşoğlu pointed out that the number of Turkish missions abroad has increased significantly: "Right now we have 236 missions abroad, but with recent appointments, we reached 240. With upcoming appointments, it will pass 250. Currently, we rank fifth in the world."

Asserting that it was not enough to just increase the number of missions, Çavuşoğlu stressed that new embassies were designed as facilities to meet all the needs of personnel and that embassy doors were always open to citizens: "This is the house of Polish people as well."

Commenting on relations between Turkey and Poland, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Bartosz Cichocki said that Turkey is a strategic partner and an old ally.

Cichocki drew attention to boosting ties between the two countries in various fields and said that Turkey is an essential element for European security. He also emphasized that Poland supports Turkey's EU membership process and that they welcome Turkey's efforts for the refugee crisis. "I hope the new building will be beneficial."

Çavuşoğlu also met Melescanu at the hotel where he stayed in Warsaw.

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