Middle East/North Africa

Erdoğan: Turkey wants to strengthen ties with US after relationship was ‘seriously tested’

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday that the Turkish government seeks to have improved cooperation with the United States after the relationship was “seriously tested” over the past few years, according to a report from Reuters

Erdoğan made the televised remarks Saturday, stating that his country and the United States have more commonalities than they do differences, according to the wire service.  

“As Turkey, we believe our common interests with the United States far outweigh our differences in opinion,” Erdoğan said, according to Reuters. Erdoğan also said that Turkey wanted to strengthen cooperation through “a long-term perspective on a win-win basis.”

“Turkey will continue to do its part in a manner worthy of the allied and strategic partnership ties between the two countries,” he said according to Reuters. Erdoğan reportedly noted that ties between the nations had been “seriously tested” recently.

Reuters noted that Erdoğan previously expressed interest in patching up relations with the U.S. after tensions between the countries were heightened during the Trump administration. 

Relations between the U.S. and Turkey, both NATO members, have been strained for several reasons. Former President Trump’s administration imposed sanctions on Turkey in December over its 2019 acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

And national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with Erdoğan’s chief adviser, Ibrahim Kalin, earlier this month. According to a statement from the White House, Sullivan “conveyed the administration’s intention to strengthen transatlantic security through NATO, expressing concern that Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system undermines alliance cohesion and effectiveness.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Monday and encouraged Russia not to retain the missile system, according to a statement from the State Department.

Most recently, Erdoğan on Monday accused the State Department of supporting the PKK, Kurdish forces that were responsible for death of 13 civilians in the Kurdish regions in Iraq. Turkey recognizes the PKK as a terrorist organization.

Tags Antony Blinken Donald Trump Jake Sullivan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Turkey
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