President Erdoğan Attends NATO Summit 2023 in Lithuania

​On July 11-12, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the NATO Heads of State and Government Summit 2023 in Lithuania, where he held one-to-one meetings with several world leaders. Prior to his departure for the capital city of Vilnius, President Erdoğan spoke to reporters about Türkiye's long-standing support for NATO's open-door policy.

During the summit, President Erdoğan also urged NATO members to reconsider the restrictions and barriers imposed on Türkiye in the defense trade. He highlighted that Türkiye's advanced technology capabilities on land, at sea, and in the air provide the alliance with significant strength and capabilities. President Erdoğan called for greater collaboration on counterterrorism efforts, saying, "It is essential to combat terrorist organizations and their affiliates without distinction," he added.

In Vilnius, President Erdoğan posed for a family photo with heads of states and governments from NATO countries following the welcoming ceremony, before proceeding to the summit. During the summit, President Erdoğan emphasized the importance of solidarity among NATO allies, particularly with regard to the Black Sea Initiative. He said, “Ankara will continue to engage in close dialogue with Ukraine and Russia in order to extend the initiative and work toward crisis resolution. As we always say, there is no winner in war and no loser in peace. We want to revive hopes for peace in our region."

During the first session of the summit, which focused on the defense of allies, President Erdoğan reaffirmed Türkiye's commitment to upholding the principle of collective defense and fulfilling its responsibilities within the framework of the alliance's solidarity, describing it as "the most important principle upon which the alliance is built."

On the sidelines of the summit, President Erdoğan held bilateral meetings with several world leaders, including European Council President Charles Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US President Joe Biden, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

During the summit, President Erdoğan also attended the NATO-Ukraine Council session where he expressed his appreciation for the successful outcome of the summit, referring to it as critical in the 74-year-long history of the alliance. President Erdoğan also extended his gratitude to Lithuanian officials and President Gitanas Nausėda for their hospitality.

In his remarks, President Erdoğan reflected on NATO members' solidarity, thanking them for their support during the February 6 earthquake in Türkiye. "We will always remember with gratitude our friends who extended their support to us during this massive disaster, in which over 50,000 of citizens lost their lives," President Erdoğan said.

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NATO Summit; Türkiye; Recep Tayyip Erdoğan