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Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Biden, Erdogan upbeat but no breakthrough disclosed

Duration: 01:54s 0 shares 3 views
Biden, Erdogan upbeat but no breakthrough disclosed
Biden, Erdogan upbeat but no breakthrough disclosed

U.S. President Joe Biden and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan sounded upbeat after their first face-to-face talks on Monday, although they did not announce major breakthroughs in the relationship between the two allies, at odds over Russian weapons, Syria, Libya and other issues.

This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.

BIDEN: “I just finished meeting with President Erdogan of Turkey.

We had a positive and productive meeting, much of it one-on-one.” Despite U.S. President Joe Biden’s upbeat tone, no major breakthroughs were announced Monday in the relationship between the United States and Turkey.

BIDEN: "Our teams are going to continue our discussions and I'm confident we'll make real progress with Turkey and the United States.” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan echoed that optimism, saying that areas of cooperation between the two nations are richer and larger than the problems. ERDOGAN (TURKISH WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION): "...I have also invited (Mr. Biden) to Turkey.

He said he may be able to come after our busy schedules are cleared.” But neither Biden or Erdogan provided any details on how exactly they would cut through existing tension.

Turkey, with NATO's second-largest military, has angered its allies in the Western alliance by buying Russian surface-to-air missiles and intervening in wars in Syria and Libya.

It is also in a standoff with Greece and Cyprus over territory in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Washington has already removed Ankara from the F-35 fighter jet program and imposed sanctions over Turkey's purchase of the Russian missiles.

At the start of Monday's main leaders' session at NATO, Biden spoke to Erdogan at length in a small group… but later, the two leaders and their top aides sat mostly silently on opposite sides of a table, ignoring questions shouted to them by reporters briefly invited into the room.

One area where Erdogan hoped to showcase a central role in NATO is Afghanistan.

Turkey has offered to guard and operate Kabul’s international airport after U.S. and NATO forces withdraw from the country in the coming weeks.

NATO head Yens Stoltenberg said Turkey would play a key role… but said no decision was made on the issue at Monday’s summit.