Skip to content

Shaheen, Tillis Issue Joint Statement Following Meeting with Turkish Officials & U.S. Ambassador to Türkiye

As co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, which they re-established together in 2018, Shaheen & Tillis lead bipartisan efforts in the Senate in support of the transatlantic Alliance and as Finland and Sweden  seek accession into NATO. 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, issued the following joint statement after meeting with representatives from the Turkish government, including Presidential Spokesperson and Special Advisor, Dr. Ibrahim Kalin, Ambassador of Türkiye to the U.S., Hasan Murat Mercan and U.S. Ambassador to Türkiye, Jeff Flake: 

“We appreciated the opportunity to engage directly with the Turkish delegation earlier today to discuss a number of issues and our shared commitment to this important bilateral relationship,” said the Senators. “We offered our sincere condolences as Türkiye recovers from the devastating earthquake and pledged continued support from the United States to aid the Turkish people as they recover from this unimaginable tragedy. In addition, we urged Turkish officials to take all necessary steps to ensure free and fair elections in May that live up to the values and ideals we espouse as NATO members. Top of mind in the United States, and especially for the Senate NATO Observer Group, is swift approval of the accession protocols for Sweden and Finland. We made this clear to Turkish officials today and reiterated the serious global security implications of seeing this through – we cannot allow an unchecked Vladimir Putin to win in Ukraine and extend his brutal campaign to other vulnerable nations in Europe. We value our relationship with Türkiye and the role they play within the transatlantic alliance, which is why we urge them to uphold their commitment to expeditiously approve accession protocols.”