After meeting with the US president, the Turkish leader stated that despite the hostility that has existed for several months, there is no unsolvable Turkish-US issue.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that he had a “fruitful and sincere” meeting with US President Joe Biden during the NATO summit in Brussels .
Erdogan added after his first meeting with Biden after his election: “We believe that there is no unsolvable problem in the Turkish-U.S. relationship.”
At a press conference held during the NATO summit in Brussels, Erdogan said that the “extensive talks” with Biden covered cooperation on regional issues and emphasized his long-standing friendship with US leaders.
In a brief exchange with reporters, Biden called this a “very good meeting.” Before other officials joined, he and Erdogan met privately. In total, they spent more than an hour together.
Biden has known Erdogan for many years, but their relationship is often controversial. During the campaign, Biden described Erdogan as a “dictator,” which aroused the anger of Turkish officials.
In April of this year, Biden declared that the mass murder and deportation of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire was “genocide”-a term avoided by the President of the United States, which angered Ankara.
Erdogan said that the two leaders failed to find a way to overcome Turkey’s differences in purchasing the Russian S-400 advanced missile defense system. The United States said the technology poses a threat to NATO and has removed Turkey from its F-35 fighter jet program.
“Our thoughts on the S-400 are the same as before, and I conveyed our same thoughts to Mr. Biden,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan also called on the United States to stop supporting Syrian Kurdish armed groups, which Turkey considers to be “terrorists.”
One area where Erdogan hopes to demonstrate Turkey’s central role in NATO is Afghanistan, where Ankara has offered to guard and operate Kabul Airport after the withdrawal of US and NATO forces in the coming weeks. NATO Chairman Jens Stoltenberg said Turkey will play a key role, but no decision was made at the summit on Monday.
Before meeting with Biden, the Turkish President also met with other world leaders during the summit, including German Chancellor Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Macron.
Macron said on Twitter that he hopes to “move forward” with Turkey after the meeting and establish a harsh and respectful relationship.
This is their first meeting since the dispute between the two countries peaked after Erdogan questioned Macron’s mental health in October last year.
I can mention the case of our compatriot Fabien Azoulay. The conditions for rapid transfer are improving, and I hope this will enable us to succeed as soon as possible. This morning’s discussion is producing results that are already useful. https://t.co/8jG1AQ2wKg
-Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 14, 2021
Macron’s office stated that he hopes all NATO allies will make a clear commitment to the military organization’s values, principles and rules.
The Elysée Palace said the two discussed issues in Libya and Syria. Macron specifically accused Turkey of ignoring its promises by strengthening its military presence in Libya and bringing in armed fighters from Syria.
Macron also emphasized that French secularism respects all religions, including Islam.
The French president stated that “clarification” is needed in response to Erdogan’s severe criticism of Macron’s attitude towards Islam and Muslims.
Among other developments at the summit, NATO members pledged for the first time to counter China’s military ambitions, and issued a communiqué stating that Beijing has presented a “systematic challenge” to the Transatlantic Security Alliance.
The NATO Communiqué also stated that the alliance will adapt to climate-related security challenges, calling on Russia to abandon the designation of the two allies, the United States and the Czech Republic, as “unfriendly countries,” and urged Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities.