US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken praised the bilateral relations between Washington and Ankara, saying that Turkey is “an important partner of the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).”
This came during a hypothetical meeting of the US Secretary with foreign media on Wednesday.
Blinken said, “President Joe Biden had a good conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and there are many issues and areas in which they share and work closely.”
He added, “Turkey is an important ally of the United States and NATO, and we have many common regional interests and global interests.”
He also noted that the bilateral relationship between the two countries is “strong”, despite any differences.
He continued, “Like most countries, we have our differences, but we owe Turkey to its respect for these differences, in a clear, direct and sincere manner as we expect from them, and this is what distinguishes our relationship.”
Russian S-400 system
In another context, the US Secretary touched upon the (S-400) missile defense system that Turkey had purchased from Russia.
Noting that their position on this issue is clear, and that it should not be surprising to anyone, as he put it.
He pointed out that they will continue to cooperate with Turkey, adding, “The (S-400) deal came in contradiction to all promises that were made directly.
All allies pledged at the 2016 NATO summit in the Polish capital Warsaw that they would reduce dependence on Russian equipment.
“The purchase of the (S-400) system poses a threat to US security, allied military technology, and personnel,” he said.
At the same time, it undermines cohesion within NATO, with which the United States and Turkey have long allied.
It also severely damages the interoperability needed to meet the challenges facing the Alliance.”
Blinken also pointed out that this system paved the way for Russia’s defense sector and its army to reach Turkey.
He explained that his country “imposed sanctions on Turkey (because of that deal) under the Katsa Act (Combating US opponents through sanctions).”
He expressed his hope that Turkey would find a way out regarding that deal.
“However, it is important now that Turkey, like other allies of the United States, does not buy any weapons from Russia in the future, or does not buy additional batches of (S-400).”
The US Secretary indicated that the purchase of any weapons from Russia in the future may lead to the imposition of new sanctions under the “Katsa” Act.
Events of 1915
On the other hand, Blinken said that President Biden’s recognition of the events of 1915 as “genocide” does not aim to place any blame on Turkey.
He explained, “It is not surprising, because Biden expressed his views that he adopted many years ago, and he was very clear about that.”
He continued: “As the President indicated, the celebration of Memorial Day is a tribute to the victims, not a blame.
Of course, what we focused on related to the events that took place in the last days of the Ottoman Caliphate.”