Turkey’s Erdogan says he has held “fruitful, sincere” discussions with Biden | NATO news

After meeting the president of the United States, the Turkish leader says that no Turkey-US issue can be resolved, despite months of animosity.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that he had held a “fruitful and sincere” meeting with his American counterpart Joe Biden alongside the NATO summit in Brussels.

“We believe that there is no problem that cannot be resolved in Turkey-US relations,” Erdogan added after his first meeting with Biden since the election.

At a press conference alongside a NATO summit in Brussels, Erdogan said the “extensive talks” with Biden had dealt with cooperation on regional issues and highlighted his long years of friendship with the EU. head of the United States.

In a brief exchange with reporters, Biden described it as a “very good meeting.” He and Erdogan met privately before being joined by other officers. They spent a total of more than an hour together.

The U.S. president later told reporters that the discussion was “positive and productive.” He said the leaders “had detailed discussions on how to proceed on a number of issues,” but did not go into much more detail.

Biden has known Erdogan for years and years, but their relationship has often been controversial. During his election campaign, Biden drew anger from Turkish officials after describing Erdogan as an “autocrat.”

In April, Biden infuriated Ankara declaring that the mass murder of the Ottoman era and the deportations of Armenians was “genocide” – a term that American presidents avoided using.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with US President Joe Biden at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, on June 14, 2021 [Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Press Office/Handout/Reuters]

Erdogan noted that the two leaders have not found a way to overcome differences over Turkey’s acquisition of Russia’s advanced S-400 missile defense systems. The United States says the technology is a threat to NATO and has eliminated Turkey from its F-35 fighter program.

“Our thoughts on the S-400 are the same as before, I conveyed our same thoughts to Mr. Biden,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan also demanded an end to US support for Syrian Kurdish armed groups, which Turkey considers “terrorists.”

One area where Erdogan has hoped to present a central Turkish role in NATO is Afghanistan, where Ankara has offered to guard and operate Kabul airport after U.S. and NATO forces withdrew in and weeks to come. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Turkey would play a key role but no decision was made at Monday’s summit.

Meeting with Macron

Before meeting with Biden, the Turkish president also met with other world leaders during the summit, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron.

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

It was their first meeting since the dispute between the two countries peaked in October after Erdogan questioned Macron’s mental health.

Macron said he wants all NATO allies to make a clear commitment to the values, principles and rules of the military organization, his office said.

Both men have discussed issues in Libya and Syria, the Elysee said. Macron accused in particular Turkey of failing its commitments by increasing its military presence in Libya and bringing in armed fighters from Syria.

Macron also stressed that France’s secularism respects all religions, including Islam.

The French presidency said a “clarification” was needed to respond to Erdogan’s harsh criticism of Macron’s attitude towards Islam and Muslims.

In other developments at the summit, NATO members pledged to address China’s military ambitions for the first time, issuing a statement saying Beijing presented “systemic challenges” to the transatlantic security alliance.

The NATO communiqué also said that the alliance would adapt to climate-related security challenges, urging Russia to abandon its designation of two allies – the United States and the Czech Republic – as well. and “unfriendly countries” and organized Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities.

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