President Erdoğan meets Biden, other leaders at NATO summit

President Erdoğan meets Biden, other leaders at NATO summit

President Erdoğan meets Biden, other leaders at NATO summit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders of NATO member countries in Brussels as part of his bilateral talks at the alliance’s summit on June 14.

The one-on-one meeting at the NATO headquarters lasted for 45 minutes. Headed by the two leaders, meetings between the delegations lasted for 40 minutes.

Erdoğan said after his first meeting with Biden that they discussed Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 missile defences, and an F-35 jet programme that has also strained bilateral ties.

At a press conference on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels, Erdoğan said the meeting with Biden was positive for the future. Biden told him he might come to Turkey, he added.

Biden said he had a "very good meeting" with Erdoğan after the meeting.

President Erdoğan meets Biden, other leaders at NATO summit

Erdoğan held a meeting with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, marking his first bilateral talk of the day on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

President Erdoğan meets Biden, other leaders at NATO summit

Macron tweeted after the meeting that he wants to “move forward” with Turkey toward a demanding and respectful relationship.

According to the French presidency, Macron said he wants all NATO allies to make a clear commitment to the military organization’s values, principles and rules.

Both leaders discussed issues concerning Libya and Syria, the Elysee office said. Macron also highlighted that France’s secularism respects all religions, including Islam. The French presidency said a “clarification” was needed in response to Erdoğan’s tough criticism of Macron’s attitude toward Islam and Muslims, as the French government proposed a law to fight Islamist radicals.

Erdoğan earlier said that the two countries would “have the opportunity to discuss the positive and negative aspects of Turkish-French relations.”

The meeting comes amid the normalization effort between Ankara and Paris following tension caused by the issues such as Turkish presence in Libya and the eastern Mediterranean and Turkey’s military operation into Syria targeting the YPG group that irked France.

In early 2021, Turkey and France stepped up on a road map to normalize relations.

Erdoğan met Johnson, Merkel

Later on, Erdoğan met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel and Erdoğan discussed Turkey’s relationship with the European Union in the run-up to the European Council meeting on June 24 and the United Nations-led resolution on the Cyprus issue, the German spokesperson said.

A day before, Erdoğan held separate talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Latvian President Egils Levits.

Erdoğan on June 14 said the revival of dialogue channels with Greece helped solve some bilateral problems between the NATO members over which tensions flared last year. Ankara and Athens have been at odds over several issues for years, from conflicting Mediterranean maritime claims to air space and migration. The allies came close to a confrontation last year, hurting ties between the European Union and Ankara.

“We believe that the revival of dialogue channels with our neighbor Greece contributes to solving problems and to regional stability,” Erdoğan told an event organized by the German Marshall Fund on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels.

Erdogan also met Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis later in the day at the summit.

President Erdoğan meets Biden, other leaders at NATO summit

'Turkey leads initiatives in global peace, stability'

Turkey is leading and contributing to all the initiatives to ensuring global peace and stability in the world, Erdoğan has said at a NATO forum.

“Turkey leads and contributes to all initiatives to ensure stability, from Iraq to Afghanistan, from the Caucasus to the Balkans, from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and Africa,” said Erdoğan in a video message he sent to the forum.

“Turkey, in cooperation with its allies, will continue to assist the global peace and stability with its principle-based foreign policy, strong defense industry and dynamic economy,” he stated.

“One of biggest obstacles to establishing stability is terrorism,” Erdoğan stated, noting that Turkey is fighting terrorism at the forefront on all relevant international platforms, including NATO.

“Unfortunately, we did not get the support and solidarity we expected from our allies and partners in the fight against terrorism. Turkey remains the only NATO ally engaged in close combat with Daesh,” he said, referring to ISIL’s Arabic acronym.

He added that Turkey neutralized nearly 4,000 Daesh terrorists as part of cross-border operations into northern Syria.

We stand together with NATO: Stoltenberg

Leaders of NATO countries at the summit discussed the path that the military alliance will follow over the next decade in the face of challenges such as China, Russia, and cyber threats.

The leaders gathered at NATO headquarters in Brussels for the first time since 2018.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on June 14 said that some NATO allies such as Turkey and the U.S. are in direct dialogue to ensure the sustainability of critical infrastructures such as the airport in Afghanistan. He also spoke of “a new chapter in transatlantic relations.”

“No nation and no continent can deal with these challenges alone, but Europe and North America are not alone,” Stoltenberg said. “We stand together with NATO.”

Stoltenberg said there is no new Cold War with China, but the western allies will have to adapt to the challenge of Beijing’s rise.

“We’re not entering a new Cold War, and China is not our adversary, not our enemy,” Stoltenberg told reports after the NATO leaders’ summit.

“But we need to address together, as the alliance, the challenges that the rise of China poses to our security,” he added.

Ready to talk China, Russia and soothe allies: Biden

Biden shortly after arriving at the alliance’s headquarters sat down with Stoltenberg and underscored the U.S. commitment to Article 5 of the alliance charter, which spells out that an attack on one member is an attack on all and is to be met with a collective response.

“Article 5 we take as a sacred obligation,” Biden said. “I want NATO to know America is there.”

The White House said the communique to be signed by alliance members at the end of the NATO summit is expected to include language about updating Article 5 to include major cyberattacks -- a matter of growing concern amid a series of hacks targeting the U.S. government and businesses around the globe by Russia-based hackers.