(Brussels) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had a “very productive and honest” meeting with his first US envoy, Joe Biden, ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels on Monday.
“I have to say that we had a very fruitful and honest conversation,” Erdogan told a news conference in Brussels, adding that “no problem can be solved in relations between Turkey and the United States.”
The disagreement between Ankara and Washington has stifled their relations in several areas: from Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 air defense system to US support for Syrian Kurdish fighters, including the US refusal to hand over pastor Fethullah Colon, who is accused of plotting the 2016 coup. Mr. Against Erdogan.
In response to the supply of the first battery of the Russian S-400 air defense system to Turkey in 2019, the United States withdrew Ankara from the production program of the F-35 pirated aircraft, arguing that Russian missiles could unravel its technical secrets and did not comply with NATO systems.
Turkey has called on Washington to re-deploy S-400s in the project, saying it would not affect NATO’s security arrangements.
“I reiterate our position to the US President on the S-400s,” he said.
“We agreed to activate our conversation channels in a way that is appropriate and routine for our partners and strategic partners, outlining the need to promote current mechanisms of regional cooperation and consultation,” he said.
He said he had discussed with his US envoy the steps to maintain Turkish forces in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal from the country, which was scheduled for September. Erdogan pointed out.
“If Turkey is asked to leave Afghanistan, US diplomatic, logistical and financial assistance will be very important,” he said, adding that Pakistan and the United States should liaise with other countries on the issue. Hungary.
“Obviously the Taliban cannot ignore the reality. We can continue to negotiate with them in a variety of ways,” he said.
Mr. Turkish-US relations have deteriorated since Erdogan’s ally, Donald Trump, took over from Joe Biden at the White House in January. Mr. Biden acknowledged the Armenian genocide under the Ottoman Empire during World War I and angered Ankara.
Mr. Erdogan met with Greek Prime Minister Grios Mitsotakis in Brussels, at a time when relations between Ankara and Greece are being overshadowed by sharp tensions surrounding the exploitation of hydrocarbon deposits in the Mediterranean.
Mr. Erdogan asked the Greek leader not to “involve third parties” in the controversy, which is a reference to the EU supporting Greek claims.
“If there is any problem, you can call me directly on the direct line and I will do the same. I can resolve issues between the two leaders,” he said.
In Athens, a Greek government source said MM. Erdogan and Mitsotakis “happened in a good climate” and “improving relations between the two countries will be done gradually”.
However, the two neighbors in the eastern Mediterranean “continue to have major differences, especially over the definition of maritime zones”, underscoring this source close to the services of the Greek Prime Minister.