Biden and Turkey’s Erdogan meet at G20 summit

President Biden met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome on Sunday amid intensifying relations between the two countries due to a diplomatic spat and Turkey’s request to buy US F-16 fighter jets.

The two leaders had a “constructive conversation” and touched upon a number of issues, including Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, the sale of F16s and human rights, according to a senior administration official who briefed the media after sitting in Rome. .

The official was asked if Biden supported selling military equipment to Turkey.

I think the Turkish government and Erdogan, including in his public statements in the past two weeks, have been very clear that there is a desire by Turkey to buy F16s. “The resident has taken it upon himself to have it, but he has made it very clear that there is a process we have to go through in the United States and we are committed to continuing to work through that process,” the administration official said.

The two NATO allies have been at loggerheads over Erdogan’s threat to throw out the US ambassador to Turkey and 10 other foreign envoys from Western countries for demanding the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala, whom they say is a political prisoner.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Joe Biden.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Joe Biden had a “constructive conversation” on Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, the sale of F-16s and human rights.
Murat Cetin Mehrdar/Turkish Presidential Press Service/AFP via Getty Images

Erdogan did not carry out his threat.

Turkey asked the United States to sell it 40 F-16 warplanes to modernize its air force, but U.S. lawmakers rejected the sale due to Ankara’s recent purchase of a defense system from Russia and the country’s human rights record.

The senior administration official said the president raised the issue of human rights with Erdogan.

The president has generally made clear his commitment to human rights and the rule of law and all of these issues and acknowledged that these are the things he cares about. These are the issues he will continue to raise and that his administration will continue to raise, the official said.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Joe Biden.
Turkey and the United States have been at loggerheads over President Erdogan’s threat to throw out the U.S. ambassador to Turkey and 10 other foreign envoys from Western countries for their demand for the release of imprisoned philanthropist Osman Kavala.
Evan Fauci/AFP

This is the second meeting between Erdogan and Biden since he became president in January.

The two leaders met in June during the NATO summit.

During the second day of the gathering in Rome, Biden is expected to meet with leaders of the G20 nations to discuss global supply chain problems that have delayed the arrival of goods at ports around the world.

A press conference is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Joe Biden.
Turkey asked the United States to sell it 40 F-16 warplanes to modernize its air force, but U.S. lawmakers rejected the sale.
Evan Fauci/AFP

The president arrived in Rome for talks on Friday with a full agenda even as his domestic agenda – consisting of an infrastructure bill and a social spending package – faltered in Congress amid infighting between progressive and moderate Democrats.

Before attending the summit, Biden, who is Catholic, met Pope Francis at the Vatican for 90 minutes before receiving mass at St. Patrick’s Chapel.

From Rome, Biden will travel to attend a United Nations conference on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland.

He returns to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

with wire

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