Biden Refuses To Issue Erdogan Meeting Details: “I’ll Let The Turks Tell You About It”
President Biden on Wednesday said he’s feeling “very good” following the bilateral meeting with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but both sides have remained tight lipped about what was actually discussed in the Monday meeting on the sidelines of the one-day NATO summit.
US-Turkey relations were already at a low point going into the meeting, particularly after the Biden administration’s formal recognition of the Armenian Genocide. But when asked by a reporter about the meeting, Biden declined to divulge any details:
President Joe Biden on Tuesday declined to offer details about his one-on-one meeting with Turkish President Recep Erdogan, saying he’d let the Turks talk about it.
‘We had long discussions and I feel very good about our meeting. I’ll let the Turks tell you about it,’ he told reporters when he arrived at the Europa Building for meetings with European leaders.
Erdogan had simply described the dialogue as “productive and sincere” – saying optimistically that “We think that there are no issues between US and Turkey relationship that are unsolvable and that areas of cooperation for us are richer and larger than problems.”
But in terms of what expected to be the central most contentious issue of Turkey’s acquirement of the Russian S-400 system, for which Washington has threatened sanctions, both sides are keeping mum.
Erdogan subsequently merely mentioned inter-NATO discussions about how the Afghan pullout is going, according to the Daily Mail:
“If they don’t want us to leave Afghanistan, if they want [Turkish] support there, then the diplomatic, logistic and financial support that the United States will give us will of great importance,” Erdogan said during a press conference following his meeting with Biden.
While Biden reportedly said he and Erdogan had a “positive and productive meeting” and expressed confidence in making “real progress with Turkey and the United States,” the Turkish president described the talks as “productive and sincere.”
Seems about right: Erdogan emerged from his bilat with Biden saying “there are no problems in Turkey-US ties that don’t have a solution”, but the meeting did not actually produce any solutions. https://t.co/3FI5ms8SpT
— Gregg Carlstrom (@glcarlstrom) June 15, 2021
Recently the White House indicated it’s still at this very late point attempting to convince Ankara to give back the S-400 missiles in its possession. The US has long dangled the US Army’s Patriot systems as an ‘alternative’ which might induce Turkey to halt progress on taking the S-400 live in operation.
It should be recalled that Biden has long vowed to “get tough” on Turkey and Erdogan, after the Democrats have long charged that Trump pursued a detrimental ‘bromance’ with the Turkish strongman. But judging by how things went Monday, and the apparent mutual silence on divulging details, it doesn’t appear Biden accomplished much if anything regarding prior tough talk on Turkey at all.
Tue, 06/15/2021 – 17:05