Turkish president, Dutch PM discuss NATO chief candidacy-Xinhua

Turkish president, Dutch PM discuss NATO chief candidacy

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-27 01:54:30

ISTANBUL, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte discussed Rutte's candidacy for the position of Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) during a meeting in Istanbul on Friday.

Following the meeting at the Vahdettin Mansion on the Asian side of the city, Erdogan and Rutte held a joint press conference.

"No one should doubt that we will make our decision within the framework of strategic wisdom and fairness," Erdogan told reporters, adding that he shared with Rutte what kind of qualities Türkiye would like to see in the new NATO secretary general.

Erdogan emphasized his expectation for the future secretary-general to prioritize the preservation of NATO's primary position in ensuring Euro-Atlantic security.

The Turkish leader added that during a phone conversation last week, he discussed NATO's role with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, who also announced his candidacy for the post.

Rutte, for his part, emphasized that Türkiye is a geopolitical actor with significant influence in the region, stating that NATO's southern flank needs the country.

"Türkiye plays an important role in Gaza and Ukraine," Rutte said, highlighting Türkiye's decisive efforts, especially in resolving the conflict in Gaza.

Jens Stoltenberg, who became NATO Secretary General in 2014, will end his term on Oct. 1 this year after NATO allies unanimously extended his term four times.