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Erdogan says Biden meeting opened 'new era'

June 22, 2021

The Turkish leader expressed optimism after the meeting, despite differences between the two countries on various geopolitical issues.

Erdogan meets Biden in Brussels
Biden met Erdogan during a NATO summit in Brussels last weekImage: Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Turkish Presidency/AA/picture alliance

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that his recent meeting with President Joe Biden opened a "new era" of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The two leaders met last week during a NATO summit in Brussels. 

What did Erdogan say?

"We believe that we have opened the doors to a new era that is based on positive and constructive ties with the US," Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting.

"We are determined to gain the greatest benefit possible for the country from the positive tone of our talks with Biden, strengthening our channels of communications with the US," he added.

At the same time, Erdogan said he did have one request of the Biden administration: "Turkey's only demand is that its economic and political sovereignty are respected in every field, and that it is supported in its struggle with terror organizations." 

How do Biden, Erdogan differ on geopolitical issues?

Despite Erdogan's positive comments, the two countries have multiple disagreements on various geopolitical issues. 

Erdogan has pursued multiple military operations against Kurdish groups in Syria, claiming these groups have ties to the outlawed PKK terrorist organization. The US has supported some of these Kurdish groups in Syria in the fight against jihadist organizations such as the "Islamic State" (IS).

Turkey buys Russian S-400 missile system

The US has also strongly opposed the sale of Russian S-400 missiles to Turkey. The missiles would bolster Turkey's air defenses as it grapples with various security threats in the Middle East. 

Erdogan at times has also criticized US support for Israel. The Turkish president has frequently shown overt support for the Palestinians.

Tensions were also icy earlier this year after Biden recognized the killings of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire as genocide. 

The two countries have, however, cooperated in other areas, such as the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan. Biden and Erdogan have agreed to allow Turkey to have a leading role in securing the airport of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, after the pullout of international troops later this year. 

wd/nm (Reuters, AFP)