Erdoğan from Turkey, Biden from USA

Biden calls meeting with Erdoğan in Brussels “very good”

The meeting between the presidents of Turkey and the United States during the NATO summit lasted for 45 minutes.

US President Joe Biden said today in statements to journalists in Brussels that his meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, during the NATO summit that brought together the heads of State and Government of the member countries of the Atlantic Alliance, was “very good” and that they addressed multiple questions about the complicated relations between the two countries, which are also those with the largest armed forces in NATO.

Biden, who is attending a summit between the European Union and the United States in Brussels, declared before his meeting with EU representatives that the face-to-face meeting held yesterday with Erdoğan at NATO headquarters, which lasted 45 minutes and was the first between the two leaders since Biden took office in January, was very positive. “We had long talks (the Turkish president and I), and I am very happy about the meeting with the Turkish president,” he said.

Among the issues that were discussed were, according to some sources, the possible continuity of the presence of Turkish troops in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO forces. “Our teams will continue our talks, and I am confident that we will make real progress between Turkey and the United States,” Biden said.

Erdoğan: “There is no problem between the US and Turkey that cannot be solved”

For his part, Erdoğan told media after the meeting with his American counterpart that both had agreed to use direct channels of dialogue on a regular basis, something appropriate for two allied countries, stressing that there is no issue that cannot be resolved in relations between Ankara and Washington despite the tensions that have characterised them in recent years.

“I see that there is a strong desire to start a period of productive cooperation in all fields, based on mutual respect and interest. We will increase our cooperation with Mr. Biden in line with these objectives from now on. We believe that there is no problem that cannot be solved in the relations between Turkey and the United States of America; on the contrary, our areas of cooperation show a broader and richer perspective than our problems,” Erdoğan told during a news conference.

“Turkey and the United States, which have made great contributions to peace, prosperity and security in the Euro-Atlantic geographic area, will continue to work with the same intention,” added the Turkish president. Asked about hot topics between Ankara and Washington, such as Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 missiles from Russia, Erdoğan replied that during his meeting with Biden he had conveyed Turkey’s well-known position: that is, that Ankara will comply with the signed agreement with Moscow. “We have also expressed the same about the F-35s,” he added.

The Turkish leader also explained that during the NATO summit, Turkey had made it very clear that any support for the PYD/YPG group in Syria, recognised even by the US intelligence services as a Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group – but whom Washington considers an ally against Daesh – must end. Regarding Biden’s recent labelling of the deaths of Armenians in 1915 as “genocide,” Erdoğan said that this issue was not addressed at the meeting.

“We have studied the steps we can take to realise the full economic potential that exists between us, taking into account the new opportunities that will arise after the pandemic,” said Erdoğan speaking on the Biden meeting in Brussels. To do this, the Turkish president announced that he had invited his American counterpart to visit Turkey, something that Biden could do very soon, he added.