ISTANBUL- Following highly publicized visits to the embattled countries of Ukraine and Iraq, US Vice President Joseph Biden and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu joined a special closing session of the sixth Atlantic Council Energy & Economic Summit at the Grand Tarabya Hotel in Istanbul to discuss why energy security is crucial for resolving the pressing security challenges we face today.

Atlantic Council Chairman Jon Huntsman welcomed the vice president and prime minister before they delivered their remarks. “We have spent the past two days covering the highly important challenges and opportunities facing this region and the world,” said Huntsman. “I can think of no better way to conclude this summit than to hear directly from two statesmen making decisions on these very issues every day.”

Biden visits Turkey just one day after meetings with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. He told the audience that “Russian aggression in Ukraine reminds us that we still have work to do to achieve the strategic vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace.”

Biden stressed the need for Europe to prioritize energy security with the help of their allies and friends. “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin uses energy as a weapon,” he said, to undermine the security of neighboring countries.

Davutoğlu spoke on the importance of energy to the current geopolitical landscape, saying that “energy should not be seen as a weapon for conflict, it should be seen as a facilitator to improve welfare.” 

Please visit the summit website for more information including videos and recaps of the different sessions.