Turkey-US talks: Addressing Ukraine, Gaza, and bilateral issues

Officials from Turkey and the United States engaged in extensive discussions on the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, along with various bilateral issues, during meetings in Washington, according to Turkey's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Friday.

Publication: 09.03.2024 - 11:12
Turkey-US talks: Addressing Ukraine, Gaza, and bilateral issues
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Initiated on Thursday, these strategic talks aimed at overcoming longstanding policy disagreements and enhancing cooperation in other sectors mark a potential turning point in the relationship between the NATO allies. Despite recent tensions over a myriad of issues, the relations have seen positive momentum following Ankara's endorsement of Sweden's NATO membership bid.

Fidan reported that the discussions covered a wide range of topics, including Syria, Ukraine, Gaza, defense industry collaboration, energy, and counterterrorism. He highlighted the potential for a "renewed psychology and a more positive agenda" to turn a new page in Turkish-American relations. "While managing current problems, it's crucial to unlock the joint potential and opportunities our nations can create," Fidan remarked during his statement to Turkish media in Washington.

The foreign minister reiterated Turkey's call for an immediate and enduring ceasefire in Gaza, underlining the urgency for nations to mitigate the humanitarian crisis and support a two-state resolution. Conversations also focused on terminating Russia's incursion into Ukraine, with Fidan and his American counterparts, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, discussing potential paths to peace. However, Fidan noted a lack of readiness for such discussions from both Kyiv and Moscow.

Despite these efforts, divergences remain on several fronts, including Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems, which triggered U.S. sanctions and Turkey's exclusion from the F-35 fighter jet program. Concerns also persist regarding U.S. backing for Kurdish groups in Syria, which Turkey classifies as terrorist organizations.

Fidan maintained Turkey's stance on Syria and the F-35 issue, arguing that Turkey is entitled to the jets due to its investments and manufacturing contributions. He expressed Turkey's willingness to negotiate, provided Washington adopts an "open-minded" approach.

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