Çavuşoğlu, Blinken confirm willingness to deepen ties, enhance cooperation
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met in New York on May 18 within the framework of the Turkey-U.S. Strategic Mechanism to reaffirm their strong cooperation as partners and NATO Allies, a joint statement has said.
The two countries are committed to working closely together to face current geopolitical challenges and the ministers intend to deepen bilateral cooperation through constructive and open dialogue as envisioned by the Turkey-U.S. Strategic Mechanism, the statement said.
They discussed ways and assessed concrete steps to enhance their cooperation on defense issues, counterterrorism, energy, food security, combatting climate change and boosting trade ties, all while agreeing to intensify consultations on a range of regional issues, it added.
They also reiterated their strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russia’s unacceptable war. Within this framework, Turkey and the U.S. reaffirmed their support to find a solution to end the war, they said.
Çavuşoğlu stated they had a “very positive” meeting with Blinken as part of the strategic mechanism. There will be meetings at the level of leaders in the future, and Ankara wants this mechanism to be result-oriented, the minister noted.
The technical talks between militaries of the U.S. and Turkey on the sale and modernization of F-16 jets to Ankara were progressing positively, Çavuşoğlu told reporters.
“I can say that our negotiations are continuing positively, and the Congress should work on it as well,” he said.
Turkey asked the U.S. for the purchase of new F-16s and modernization of its current fleet in October 2021. The $6 billion deal would include the sale of 40 newly built F-16V fighter jets and modernization kits for 80 F-16 C/D.
Commenting on Finland and Sweden NATO membership bids, Çavuşoğlu said, “We need security guarantees that Finland and Sweden will not supply weapons to terrorist organizations.”
“We have also legitimate security concerns that they have been supporting terrorist organizations,” he said and pointed at the current defense industry export restrictions on Turkey.
Blinken told him that he would convey Turkey’s concerns to the two countries, he stated.
When asked whether these security guarantees were requested by the U.S. as well, Çavuşoğlu said: “Why should we ask for guarantees from America? What we want from the U.S. is that it is an ally and they must now reverse the issues, including the products we just mentioned and the CAATSA sanctions. The U.S. itself must end support to the PKK and YPG in Syria.”