As part of the G-20 leaders summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with US President Joe Biden. The G-20 conference brings together 19 countries and the European Union Commission, which represent some of the world’s largest economies.
The two leaders met for the second time since Biden was elected President of the United States in the Nuvola Convention Center in Rome, the capital of Italy, where the summit was held. On 14 June, the two leaders met for the first time in person at the NATO summit in Belgium. Despite the fact that the summit took place amid ongoing S-400 tensions, with Erdogan ordering the US ambassador to Turkey and other foreign envoys to be declared “persona non grata” in Turkey for demanding the release of imprisoned Osman Kavala in recent weeks, the two leaders painted a picture of a positive and sincere relationship.
Before the meeting, the two leaders appeared in front of the cameras. “Do you plan to give F-16s to Turkey?” a US journalist asked during the pre-interview photo shoot. “We are planning to have a good meeting,” said US President Joe Biden in response to the question. Biden entered the meeting room without responding to queries from media about whether he would bring up human rights issues or whether he thought Turkey was too close to Russia. It seems that Turkey will not be granted any preferential treatment and the procurement of new F-16s and upgrade kits will have to go through the standard Foreign Military Sales process.
The closed-door meeting lasted roughly 1 hour and 10 minutes, rather than the planned 20 minutes. Turkish National Intelligence Organization President Hakan Fidan, Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu, and his US counterpart Antony Blinken attended the meeting.
After the meeting, there was no joint press conference. The White House’s official website provided the first statement regarding the meeting. Biden expressed his appreciation for Turkey’s nearly 20-year contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan in the statement.
In the statement, the following statements were made:
“The leaders discussed the political process in Syria, the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Afghans in need, elections in Libya, the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, and diplomatic efforts in the South Caucasus. President Biden reaffirmed our defense partnership and Turkey’s importance as a NATO Ally, but noted U.S. concerns over Turkey’s possession of the Russian S-400 missile system. He also emphasized the importance of strong democratic institutions, respect for human rights, and the rule of law for peace and prosperity. “
The Turkish Ministry of Communications issued a statement regarding the meeting shortly after the White House’s statement. The meeting took place in a “positive atmosphere,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Communications, and the two leaders “declared a shared resolve to further enhance and develop Turkey-US relations.” It was stated that a joint process would be established in this regard.
The foundation of NATO alliance and strategic partnership was stressed during the meeting, where mutual efforts to be made in line with the joint perspective to grow the trade volume between the two nations were discussed. Satisfaction with the mutual steps made on climate change was also highlighted at the conference.