US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin assured his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar Washington’s commitment to its long-term defense relations with Turkey, at a time when Ankara said it expected positive results from the upcoming summit between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his American counterpart Joe Biden in Brussels.
A statement by the US Department of Defense (Pentagon) said that the phone discussions that took place last night dealt with bilateral cooperation and regional issues. Read also An American magazine article: 7 steps Biden should take to improve relations with Turkey An important ally, but Blinken draws the lines of the relationship between the United States and Turkey During a stormy NATO meeting… mutual accusations between the US and Turkish foreign ministers
For its part, the Turkish Defense Ministry said – in a statement – that Akar and Austin had positive discussions.
She added that the two sides exchanged views on regional and bilateral defense and security issues ahead of the NATO summit.
On Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that his country hopes that the upcoming meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his American counterpart Joe Biden during the NATO summit will yield positive results.
Cavusoglu added in an interview with the official TRT news channel that Turkey and the United States need to take reciprocal steps to repair relations.
He pointed out that Washington is keen to work jointly with Ankara on regional conflicts such as Syria and Libya.
On Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Biden was prioritizing his upcoming meeting with Erdogan on his first foreign trip.
Psaki stressed that the meeting will be an opportunity for direct diplomacy, face to face.
Prior to that, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that Biden and Erdogan would discuss the situation in Syria, Afghanistan and other regional issues, as well as what he described as the major differences between the two countries, in their first direct meeting since Biden took office.
Relations between Ankara and Washington witnessed tensions raised by some issues, including Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system, and Washington’s recognition of the so-called “Armenian genocide” at the hands of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the last century.