Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that his meeting with his US counterpart in Brussels, Joe Biden, was “positive” and that he invited Biden to visit Turkey, Reuters reported.
Erdogan said this in a speech at a press conference in Brussels after attending the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meeting.
Erdogan said that the two sides discussed Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air missile system, and the suspension of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 fighter program.
The Turkish president clarified Turkey’s position in the meeting with Biden, and that “Turkey’s view on purchasing the S-400 has not changed, and this includes the issue of suspending participation in the F-35 program.”
He said Biden is confident of Turkey’s strength in the face of the S-400 system and F-35 fighter jets.
Because Washington’s reluctance to sell these systems to Ankara in the past forced Turkey to buy the Russian S-400 systems.
On July 17, 2020, the United States suspended Turkey’s participation in the F-35 fighter jet program in response to Turkey’s insistence on purchasing S-400 air defense systems from Russia.
Turkey was one of the countries participating in the project to produce these fighters, and it spent about $900 million on the project.
In addition to Turkey, countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Canada and Norway participate in the program.
On December 14, the United States imposed sanctions on Turkey under a law called CAATSA to punish countries that cooperate with America’s enemies.
The United States has repeatedly stated its opposition to Turkey’s purchase of S-400 air defense missile systems from Russia.
“We agreed to use direct dialogue channels in an effective and orderly manner that suits allies and strategic partners,” Erdogan added.
He said that he discussed with Biden the approach of creating opportunities for cooperation in areas of common interest, as well as working together in areas that need effective cooperation.
The Turkish president stressed that the meeting stressed the need to revive bilateral cooperation and regional consultations between the two countries.
“When I invited him to visit Turkey, Biden insisted that he might come,” he said of the US president’s invitation.
“There are no outstanding issues in Turkish-American relations, and the scope of cooperation between the two countries is broader than the issues raised,” Erdogan said.
“The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense will follow up on this with their American counterparts,” he said, noting that he had discussed with Biden ways to work together in the defense industry.
In response to a question whether Turkish-American relations have returned to normal after the meeting, Erdogan said that Monday’s consultations were the first face-to-face meeting with Biden since taking office, adding that his relationship with Biden is not new.
He said that he held a bilateral meeting with Biden for more than half an hour, after which they presided over a meeting of the delegations of the two countries.
Asked if he would visit the United States in the future, Erdogan said he would attend the United Nations General Assembly in addition to the opening of a “Turkish House” (cultural) in New York.
Commenting on his meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Erdogan stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation at the regional and bilateral levels as allies, friends and strategic partners.
Erdogan also indicated that he discussed bilateral and regional issues with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
US President Joe Biden also described his first face-to-face meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “positive and fruitful” and said that the two countries “will make progress in bilateral relations.”
Biden made the remarks at a press conference in Brussels after several meetings with leaders of NATO member states, including Erdogan.
Biden said he and Erdogan discussed in detail how to move forward on several issues.
“Our teams will continue the discussion and I am confident that there will be real progress between Turkey and the United States,” he added.