Top Turkish, US diplomats discuss bilateral relations

Top Turkish, US diplomats discuss bilateral relations

Top Turkish, US diplomats discuss bilateral relations

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed bilateral relations on the sidelines of a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Latvia’s capital Riga on Dec. 1.

Making a statement to reporters before the meeting, Çavuşoğlu expressed his pleasure to meet with Blinken again.

Çavuşoğlu stated that they have many issues to discuss and that they will hold a follow-up meeting on the issues and decisions taken during the meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Joe Biden in Rome.

Çavuşoğlu stated that as two NATO allies, they will exchange views on bilateral relations and regional issues such as Ukraine, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan.

Blinken also expressed his pleasure to meet with Çavuşoğlu once again.

Stating that they will discuss many issues as two allied countries, Blinken said that as NATO allies, they discussed the situation in and around Ukraine, the western Balkans and the Caucasus yesterday and today in Riga.

He also noted that they will have the chance to discuss cooperation issues and regional issues between Turkey and the United States.

Turkey and the United States initiated separate talks for the former’s request over the acquisition of 40 F-16 fighter jets and the reimbursement of payment for F-35 jets, which the U.S. didn’t deliver. The current talks of the defense ministries’ officials aim to discuss Turkey’s demands to strengthen its air forces by purchasing new F-16s.

Turkey says it paid $1.4 billion for F-35 fighter jets and asks the U.S. to reimburse the money after it was formally excluded from the program on Sept. 23, 2021.

Turkey is in contact with Ukraine and Russia to ease tensions, Çavuşoğlu said on Dec. 1, adding that sanctions on Moscow will not solve the crisis.

Ukrainian and Western states say Russia has massed forces on the border with Ukraine, which is battling Moscow-backed separatists who control part of its territory to the east. Kyiv urged NATO to prepare sanctions on Russia.

Çavuşoğlu also held a meeting with Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio of Italy.

At the sessions of the NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting of the first day, Çavuşoğlu shared our views on the Alliance’s new Strategic Concept ahead of the 2022 Madrid Summit and the challenges in the Euro-Atlantic area.