Ankara readying for Erdoğan-Biden meeting at NATO summit
Turkey has been making preparations for a meeting to be held between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Joe Biden on the sidelines of a NATO summit, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said, noting that Ankara reiterates its proposal of making negotiations on the problem of the F-35 program.
“Our president will have meetings with the U.S. president and leaders of NATO countries at the NATO Summit to be held in Brussels. We have expectations from the U.S. especially regarding the PYD and FETÖ,” Kalın told daily Hürriyet.
These are issues that pose direct threat to Turkey’s national security, he said and emphasized Ankara expects the Biden administration to take concrete steps on those.
“There are issues that block our bilateral relations, such as the CAATSA sanctions, the F-35 and the S-400s. We stated that the sanctions imposed on Turkey are unfair and unlawful,” he said, stressing that the sanctions against Turkey to provide the S400 air defense system are against the spirit of alliance.
“We are making preparations to cover all these issues for the meeting to be held at the NATO Summit,” he added.
Removing Turkey unilaterally from the F-35 program is against the agreement, he said, expressing that Ankara expects a step back from this decision.
The Turkish government is of the opinion that its procurement of Russian-made S-400 systems does not have “a dimension that will endanger NATO’s security system or the interests of third countries,” he said and added, “The arguments presented by the Americans have not convinced us.”
“We are renewing this offer. If we are two allies and strategic partners, we can resolve it through negotiation. If the conditions are suitable, we can buy Patriots alongside the S-400s. We expect that unfair decisions on S-400, CAATSA, and F-35 will be reversed,” Kalın stated.
Elaborating on recent tension over Israeli attacks against Palestinians, Kalın said the reactions against the country are not sufficient.
“We need to constantly and systematically increase the pressure on Israel. We are following the developments closely in the Islamic world, Arab countries, EU, the U.S. and other countries,” he stated.
Turkey was removed from the F-35 program even though it produced some parts for the jets. The U.S. said the Russian system could jeopardize the safety of the F-35s. The U.S. halted the training of Turkish pilots and said Turkey would not be allowed to take the final possession of the four aircraft it bought.
Washington also sanctioned four Turkish defense officials last month under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a U.S. law aimed at thwarting Russian influence. The sanctions, which included a ban on issuing export licenses to Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries, were the first time the law was used to punish a NATO ally.