Erdoğan also urged immediate peace efforts to end the 500-day conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“There is no doubt that Ukraine deserves to become a member of NATO,” Erdogan said at a joint press conference with Zelenskyy on Saturday morning (07/08/2023), as quoted by Al Jazeera.
In response to Erdogan's statement, Zelenskyy also expressed his gratitude.
The meeting took place tomorrow ahead of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on Tuesday (11/07/2023).
“Thank you for supporting the integrity and territorial sovereignty of Ukraine,” the Ukrainian leader wrote in a tweet following his talks with Erdogan.
As is well known, Zelenskyy campaigned intensively for his country to be invited to join the western military alliance.
The reason is that Ukraine has become Europe's last line of defense against Russian aggression.
This week Zelenskyy visited the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria to rally support for NATO accession ahead of the July 11-12 NATO summit.
In Prague he received a pledge to support Ukraine to join NATO as soon as the war was over.
While in Sofia, Zelenskyy secured support for membership as soon as conditions permitted.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also confirmed that Ukraine would become a member of NATO.
However, it is still unclear when Ukraine will be willing to join.
On the other hand, the US dampened hopes that Ukraine would soon join the alliance.
The US side said that this week's summit will not result in an invitation to join NATO.