Erdoğan to attend NATO summit this week

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will attend a three-day NATO summit in the United States starting July 9, where he will meet with leaders of member states in joint sessions and bilateral meetings.

The summit in Washington will begin with the 75th-anniversary commemoration program of the alliance.

Erdoğan will participate in the leaders’ meeting of the 32-member alliance on July 10. Later in the day, U.S. President Joe Biden will host a dinner at the White House for the leaders and their spouses.

The summit will continue the next day with a meeting focused on the war in Ukraine.

Discussions are expected to center on reassuring Ukraine of NATO’s unwavering support amid ongoing conflict.

Last year, NATO’s failure to provide a clear timeframe for Ukraine’s membership led to tensions, with President Volodymyr Zelensky criticizing the alliance’s refusal as “absurd.”

However, the alliance maintained that an invitation would come only “when allies agree and conditions are met.”

In Washington, Western officials say they are hoping to avoid another bust-up — with Zelensky being told clearly there will not be concrete progress.

A smooth summit is particularly important for Biden as he seeks to bolster his reelection campaign following a challenging debate performance.

During the summit, Erdoğan is expected to hold several bilateral meetings. He plans to discuss measures to halt Israeli attacks in Gaza and to promote temporary peace in the region, media reports say.

The president will conclude his visit with a press conference before departing Washington.

Less than a week before the summit, Erdoğan met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, as they visited Kazakhstan for a session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Erdoğan engaged in several bilateral meetings in the capital Astana to cover a broad spectrum of topics, from energy and trade to tourism and bilateral, regional and global issues.

In remarks to the media prior to his meeting with Putin, Erdoğan said they will “take serious steps” regarding nuclear power plants.

Türkiye’s first nuclear power plant in Mersin is being constructed by Russia’s state atomic energy company, Rosatom. Erdoğan also mentioned plans for a second nuclear plant in Sinop.

Putin remarked on the steady development of bilateral relations “despite various challenges across the world.”

“Our strategic projects are being implemented in a planned manner,” he said.

The Ukraine war, Israel’s attacks in Gaza and the fight against terrorism were among the topics of discussion, according to Erdoğan’s office.

NATO member Türkiye has positioned itself as a potential mediator between Russia and Ukraine, having facilitated grain shipments through a deal during the conflict.

However, Russia obstructed the agreement last July, citing secondary sanctions on shipping, banking and insurance and escalated attacks on Ukraine’s port infrastructure.