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President Erdogan to meet US counterpart Biden at White House in May

President Erdogan to meet US counterpart Biden at White House in May
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Mar 29, 2024 11:32 PM

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Joe Biden are set to meet at the White House on May 9, marking their first meeting since their last NATO summit in July

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Joe Biden will meet at the White House on May 9, an official in Türkiye told the media on Friday. The two leaders’ next meeting will be their first in the White House since their last meeting in July at the NATO summit in Lithuania.

The encounter has a lot of diplomatic weight because of the tensions that have strained ties between the two NATO partners, namely disagreements over Türkiye’s protracted ratification of Sweden’s alliance membership. Erdogan has to get an invitation to the White House, said Soner Cagaptay, director of The Washington Institute’s Turkish Program, especially because Biden is the only president in Erdogan’s 21-year presidency to have not offered one so far.

Particularly in the wake of Russia’s entry into Ukraine in 2022, Türkiye’s opposition to Sweden’s NATO candidacy has been one of the major sources of contention in the two countries’ relations. This approach is indicative of Erdogan’s nuanced strategy toward Russia, as Türkiye has continued to trade with Moscow while also providing Ukraine with vital armaments.

In spite of the concerns, the Biden administration authorized the sale of $23 billion worth of F-16 airplanes to Türkiye as part of a major weapons deal after Türkiye approved Sweden’s long-delayed application to join NATO.

As part of the agreement, Türkiye will get 40 new F-16s and modifications for 79 of its current fleet of aircraft. This is considered a calculated geopolitical move by Ankara to support its aging air force.

However, Türkiye’s ties with the US have become more complicated as a result of Turkish positions on a number of foreign issues, notably Erdogan’s condemnation of Israel’s reaction to Hamas assaults. Relations have been further strained by Erdogan’s criticism of Israel, which includes comparing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler and charging the US with aiding the “genocide” of Palestinians.

Erdogan and US officials have had contentious interactions in the past. Shortly after Erdogan met with then-President Trump in Washington in 2017, altercations broke out between demonstrators and members of Erdogan’s security detail.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 5, 2024 9:43 PM