Türkiye pushing for further Russia-US talks: Erdoğan
HANDE FIRAT- BALİ/ANKARA
Türkiye continues to urge the international community against a new world war and encourages direct talks between Russia and the United States, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, informing that both Moscow and Washington have committed not to use nuclear weapons.
“Let me tell you this much: According to the information I got from my Intelligence chief, neither Russia nor America has the intention to resort to using nuclear weapons. We want them to come together more often. God forbid, [the use of nuclear weapons] will trigger a new world war,” Erdoğan told journalists on his return from Indonesia where he attended the G20 Summit.
“We should not let this happen,” he stated.
Erdoğan referred to a publicly unannounced meeting between the spy chiefs of Russia and the United States in Ankara on Nov. 14 in which the two superpowers have discussed the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine with concerns that the former can use tactical nuclear weapons.
The meeting was brokered by Turkish National Intelligence Organization and Erdoğan reflected Ankara’s sentiment that the use of nuclear weapons has been ruled out by the relevant parties.
F-16s sale will be solved soon
On a question Erdoğan repeated that his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden was a positive one and the American leader has assured that he has full control on the sale of F-16 jetfighters to Türkiye. “On the F-16s he told me that ‘He has the full strings on this matter with great sensitivity.’ We will endure our work on this. I wish that we will soon resolve this F-16 issue as our defense and foreign ministers will closely follow it,” he stated.
Ankara attaches importance to SAMP/T missiles
Erdoğan did explain his talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. On Macron’s recent accusations against Türkiye over its role in Africa, Erdoğan said he told Macron not to tease him as they had agreed beforehand.
“I told him ‘Let’s continue like this and avoid trouble.’ We have preserved our stance on these issues as well. But, you know, one of the most important issues with France is the SAMP/T [air defense missile system],” the president said, recalling halted trilateral talks between Türkiye, Italy and France. The SAMP/T is developed and produced by EuroSAM, a Italian-French consortium.
Informing that he discussed the SAMP/T issue with Italian prime minister as well, Erdoğan said he proposed to resolve this issue as soon as possible by holding trilateral technical talks. “It was our first encounter with the Italian prime minister and we had a very serious and determined meeting. Especially on the defense industry field. We have also discussed the developments in Libya,” the president stated, adding he invited Meloni to Türkiye for official talks.
“[Meloni] highlighted four main areas on which she wants to improve ties with Türkiye. One of them is energy. As you know ENI is an important energy company. Migration is an issue of mutual concern. They also suggested to improve ties on defense industry,” he said, adding Türkiye-European Union ties as the fourth area of cooperation between Ankara and Rome.
“Italy is a country with which we can cooperate. For a long time, there was deterioration in our ties with Italy. We can revive them now. We have mutually feelings on this,” he said.
Ties can be overhauled by June 2023
On a question over the future of Türkiye’s ties with Syria, Egypt and other countries with strained ties, Erdoğan reiterated that there can never be an eternal resentment in politics. “When the right time comes, you can review and make a new assessment. As Türkiye, we can review our ties with countries that we have problems. After the June elections, we can undergo a complete overhaul,” he stated.
Türkiye will hold presidential and parliamentary elections in June 2023. Erdoğan will run for another five-year term.