BAKU: Gul, Davutoglu in Chicago for NATO Summit, meeting world leade

Trend, Azerbaijan
May 20 2012

Gul, Davutoglu in Chicago for NATO Summit, meeting world leaders

20 May 2012, 22:57 (GMT+05:00)

A NATO summit started in Chicago, which is set to focus on the future
of the 11-year Afghanistan mission of the organization, was attended
by President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on
Sunday, Today’s Zaman reported.

This summit has been the largest participated summit organized by
NATO, with the attendance of around 60 countries along with
international organizations. The two-day summit is expected to mark
confirmation of a discussed NATO schedule for the withdrawal from
Afghanistan in 2014 and the role of NATO in the country after

Under the effect to a large scale fiscal crisis hitting the US and
European continent, contributor countries to the Afghan mission also
set to agree upon a smart defense program, foreseeing an economically
optimal use of resources during the mission.

Turkish officials arrived in Chicago on Saturday. On the sidelines of
the conference, Gul held talks with his Afghan, Azerbaijani and
Macedonian counterparts on Saturday.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed gratitude for Turkey’s role in
Afghanistan. Gul stated that he would express the concerns of the
Afghan government on the future of the ongoing mission to other NATO
members during the conference. Afghans doubt their security forces
will be able to take firm control of one of the world’s most volatile
countries once foreign combat troops leave.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is in attendance at the landmark NATO summit with
a last-minute invitation from the organization. NATO member countries
agreed upon the vital role Pakistan would play on Afghanistan’s
future. The attendance of Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari at the
summit came amid discussions on a deal that would reopen the Pakistani
routes to supply NATO soldiers in Afghanistan. Pakistan shut those
routes in protest when US aircraft killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along
the Afghan border in November.

Gul later met Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov and Azerbaijani
President Ilham Aliyev. Gul expressed the continued support of Turkey
for the NATO bid of Macedonia and all Balkan countries. A prospective
NATO integration of Macedonia, having fulfilled the accession criteria
since 2008, have been blocked because of Greek opposition over a
naming dispute. Gul noted that Macedonia’s bid had to speed up
following the International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s decision in favor
of the country. Last December the International Court of Justice ruled
that Greece should have abided by the 1995 deal not to block
Macedonian applications, and was wrong in blocking the country’s
membership to NATO.

Meanwhile, Davutoglu has received the “Macedonia Friendship Award”
during a meeting organized by Macedonian diaspora in Chicago.

Gul also met Azerbaijani President Aliyev. The two leaders have
expressed common stance on adding an article to NATO final declaration
on “long term disputes.” Azerbaijan is connected to NATO as being a
member of the organization’s Partnership for Peace program. The
country is a party of an ongoing dispute with Armenia, scrutinized
under the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE)-initiated Minsk group since 1992, due to disputed status of
Nagorno-Karabakh region.

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