Turkey to have positive agenda at scheduled Erdoğan-Biden meeting
Ankara is approaching an upcoming meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, with a positive agenda, and Turkey is receiving similar signals from Washington, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on June 9.
Ankara sees that the U.S. has a will to work with Turkey on many strategic areas, Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with the public broadcaster TRT.
The U.S. wants to cooperate with Turkey not only on Libya and Syria but also in many other areas, including the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Caucasus regions, the minister stated.
But meanwhile, there are “ongoing problems” with the U.S., such as the S-400s, the sanctions on Ankara due to the Russian made defense systems, the U.S.’s attitude toward FETÖ, and the support Washington provides to the YPG group, he emphasized.
“On the one hand how will we resolve these problems? On the other hand, will we be able to strengthen these relations while we are restoring these ties?” he asked.
The cooperation is not easy with Washington as long as the problematic areas persist there, Çavuşoğlu stated.
Elaborating on Turkey’s purchase of air defense systems, he said if “the U.S. does not guarantee Patriot [missiles], we can get air defense systems from our other allies.”
He recalled a position paper delivered to the U.S. Secretary of State for the steps to be taken on bilateral relations and Washington said it is working on the paper.
A face-to-face meeting between the two leaders is scheduled to take place on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels on June 14.
Çavusoğlu said French President Emmanuel Macron also requested a meeting with Erdoğan as part of next week’s summit.
“It is being scheduled as well. There will be meetings held with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis among other leaders.”
Stating that negotiations between Turkey and France have begun despite disagreements, he said, “France now wants to have talks over Africa as well, which is good. We do not regard anyone as a rival. We do not compete in Africa.”
Meeting with Erdoğan is ‘priority’ for US
Meeting Turkey’s president is “a priority” for Biden on his first overseas visit, the White House said on June 9.
Spokesperson Jen Psaki said “it’s an opportunity to have that face-to-face diplomacy” between Biden and Erdoğan.
“This is a relationship, obviously [with] a NATO partner, where there are areas where we feel it’s important to continue to constructively work together where there’s an opportunity, and also areas where we have a strong disagreement,” she said.
Psaki added that issues of regional security as well as those affecting the global community, including the economy and the COVID-19 pandemic, will be among those that Biden and Erdoğan will discuss.