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Biden and Erdogan pledge to improve US-Turkey ties

Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, the two leaders "had a very constructive conversation".
Updated 31 Oct, 2021 07:37pm
oe Biden meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Aug. 25, 2016. AP File Photo
oe Biden meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Aug. 25, 2016. AP File Photo

ROME: US President Joe Biden and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged Sunday to improve bilateral ties following a particularly tense period between Washington and Ankara.

Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, the two leaders "had a very constructive conversation" in which Biden "made clear his desire to have constructive relations with Turkey and to find an effective way to manage our disagreements," a senior US administration official said.

According to the Turkish presidency, "the meeting took place in a positive atmosphere", and the presidents "expressed their joint commitment to further strengthening Turkey-US relations and agreed to establish a joint mechanism to that effect."

They also "stressed the importance of the NATO alliance," the Turkish presidency said.

Turkey's 2019 purchase of a Russian S-400 air defence system has been an irritant on ties, prompting Washington to block Ankara's plans to buy about 100 next-generation US F-35 planes.

Erdogan has insisted on compensation, saying Washington could pay back at least part of the $1.4 billion advance payment Turkey made for the F-35s through the delivery of older-generation F-16 fighter jets.

In addition, Erdogan earlier this month threatened to expel a slew of Western ambassadors, including from the United States, over their support for a jailed Turkish activist.

According to the White House, Biden used the meeting to also raise the issue of human rights, and discuss a "full range of foreign policy topics," including Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean, the South Caucasus region -- and climate change.

Joe Biden

US President

Turkish President

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

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