Erdogan looks for way forward in Turkey-US ties

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Brussels

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he held a ‘fruitful and sincere’ meeting with his US counterpart Joe Biden on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels.

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

Relations between the two NATO allies nosedived after Turkey´s purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defence system that the US believes can be used to spy on Western defences.

Erdogan announced no progress on the S-400 dispute. Washington imposed sanctions on Turkey´s military procurement agency for the purchase last year.

It also expelled Turkey from the F-35 programme under which Western allies produce the next-generation fighter jet´s parts and secure its early purchasing rights.

‘On the issue of S-400s, I told (Biden) the same thing I had in the past,’ Erdogan said. ‘I raised the issue of F-35s,’ Erdogan said in a signal that he wanted Turkey admitted back into the programme.

‘I told him what joint steps we can take on the defence industry.’ – Macron, Mitsotakis meetings –
Biden has also made a point of highlighting Turkey´s deteriorating record on human rights — an issue that was largely overlooked by his predecessor Donald Trump.

He took three full months after his swearing-in ceremony before placing his first call to Erdogan.

That was to inform him that Washington was recognising the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

Erdogan raised the possibility ahead of the meeting that the two sides could cooperate on Turkey´s possible role securing the international airport in Kabul after the US completes its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.—Agencies

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