World Bulletin / News Desk
"Turkey, which has been an important member of the NATO alliance since 1952, remains an important ally that has made valuable contributions to the alliance in a critical geography", Ildem said.
"Turkey has made major contributions to NATO missions and operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo and the fight against ISIL," he said.
He added NATO is supporting Turkey over the seas and air, and contributes to the country's aerial defense with its missile defense system.
Ildem also said Turkey is the only NATO ally suffering the most from terrorism.
"NATO is in unity and solidarity in the fight against all kinds of terror," he said.
Separately, Ildem said NATO is preparing for the Brussels Summit to be held in July, which would be at the presidential level.
He said NATO foreign ministers will gather in April and a defense ministers’ meeting will be held in June.
He said NATO's new command structure was discussed at the previous defense ministers’ meeting in February. He added the command structure allows 29 allies to move together on land, seas and in air as well as in cyberspace.
Ildem also said as part of the new command, a joint force command in North Atlantic to secure marine transportation between Europe and North America and a cyber operations center is expected to be established.
NATO-EU relations are expected to be discussed during the summit in July which would be held at the alliance's new headquarters’ campus.
In mid-February, Turkey commemorated 66 years of NATO membership.
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