ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
Chief of Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt asked for more international cooperation against terrorism, at the second conference of Balkan countries' Chiefs of Staff in Antalya yesterday while praising the eastward expansion of NATO and the European Union.
�States and international organizations should try to protect their societies from terrorism, lack of energy resources and food, and the effects of global warming, which threaten the lives of citizens more than conventional threats,� said Büyükanıt.�Total cooperation, information exchange and solidarity have become obligatory more than ever, and there is a need to revise equipment and organization of armed forces,� he said.
�I am merely weeks from taking off my uniform. This meeting and the Silk Road Seminar will be the last military conventions of my term in office,� he also added.
The Balkans carry special importance due to security risks there, noted Büyükanıt. While stressing that over 20 cooperation initiatives have been launched since the 1990s in the region, the conference of Chiefs of Staff is the latest and one of the most important of those initiatives, said Büyükanıt. �Thanks to constructive efforts of the international community and countries influential in the region, major steps were taken to dissipate conflicts in the Balkans. Since 2004, regional countries' integration into NATO and the EU played a large part in this process,� Büyükanıt said.
NATO and EU expansion to bring stability
NATO is not the only actor in providing security to the region, said Büyükanıt, indicating that the European Union is also a major player for the region's welfare and security. �I firmly believe that security and political problems with big conflict possibilities are left behind, as a result of NATO and the EU's extension of security, welfare and stability toward the East, and acts of togetherness we present here today,� Büyükanıt said.