NATO Summit 2010

NATO Summit 2010


Asserting that Turkey has taken a principled stance in the NATO Summit Heads of State and Government held in Lisbon, President Gül proclaimed: “Turkey has indeed reminded NATO that it is an organization for defense, thus preventing misunderstanding.”

President Abdullah Gül and First Lady Hayrünnisa Gül paid a two-day visit to the city of Lisbon on the occasion of the NATO Summit of Heads of State and Government.

Heads of State and Government were welcomed by the Portuguese Premier, Jose Sokrates, and the NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen and his spouse, at the entrance of the fair where the summit was held

During the summit, two study sessions and a working dinner were held, both of which the heads of state and government attended. The leaders of the countries contributing to the ISAF got together on Afghanistan and the NATO-Russia Council Meeting was held.


During the Lisbon Summit, the New Strategic Concept, which will determine the road map for the alliance for the next 10-15 years, was adopted. The leaders also discussed such issues as NATO’s reform and transformation, Afghanistan, the NATO-Russia and NATO-EU relations, NATO’s partnerships, NATO’s enlargement as well as the missile defense project.

Sharing his evaluation about the NATO Summit in Lisbon, President Gül commented on the defense system: “These are issues about principles. The resolution is within the framework of our wish, which we are pleased with.”


The President also noted that the summit had two significant issues in particular, one of which is the establishment of a defense system against ballistic missiles on which Turkey has taken a principled stance from the very beginning.

“This defense system is being established against ballistic missiles, not against this or that country. It is being developed in the way it will include and protect each member of NATO against whoever has or will have these missiles and the cost will be shared by all. This is all about principles,” said President Gül.


The other important issue, the President emphasized, is the bilateral relations between NATO and the EU, drawing attention to the fact that the two bodies work on many problematic issues. Turkey, he declared, is a member country of NATO and conducting the EU membership negotiation process, saying: “Some problems used to emerge in this regard sometimes. There are EU countries which are not members of NATO as well. Turkey has taken an important stance here again.” The President noted that this issue was taken into consideration while the Strategic Concept was being written.


The President informed his audience about the defense system: “Some say this issue is limited to Turkey’s neighbors. I would like to state this clearly: Turkey is conducting the NATO mission by itself as a matter of fact by attaching great importance to the security, peace and stability in the region. What does NATO stand for? It is security, stability and peace. Within this context, when you examine Turkey’s relations with her neighbors and activities in the region, all that Turkey is doing regarding this very issue should be appreciated indeed. Many a country has ballistic missiles today whose range is different. This defense system is against these short, medium or long-range missiles. This system will protect each of the NATO members’ territories, peoples and military facilities as well against possible ballistic missile attacks.”


The President, in a response to a journalist asking whether Turkey would withdraw its soldiers from Afghanistan as of 2011, said: “It is premature to talk about or to schedule such things. On the other hand, we are saying this at NATO meetings: No conclusion can be reached through military power in Afghanistan; otherwise, there will be no security, stability or peace there. Above all, we must win the hearts of the Afghan people. Afghanistan belongs to the Afghan people. This everyone must understand and they must act there respecting the Afghans’ culture, traditions and beliefs. Military expenditure itself cannot guarantee peace, stability and security. Turkey has voiced this fact during NATO meetings and in other platforms.”


The President, responding to questions regarding the summit, maintained: “Our principled stance has protected NATO’s prestige and prevented it from losing credibility. Everyone has witness this very fact. Turkey, as a matter of fact, has reminded NATO that it is an organization for defense, thus preventing misunderstanding as well. This is the outcome of the close partnership between Turkey and the US.”


President Abdullah Gül, after the meeting on Afghanistan as part of the NATO Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Lisbon, met with the US President, Barack Obama. He later separately met with President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia. President Gül also received the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte and the Italian Premier, Silvio Berlusconi.