The first formal contact between Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and top advisers to the US president held two weeks after US President Joe Biden took office.
According to foreign news agency Reuters, Tayyip Erdogan’s chief foreign policy adviser Ibrahim Kalın and US national security advisor Jack Sullivan discussed issues related to Syria, Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and Nagorno-Karabakh.
According to the report, Ibrahim Kalın told Jack Sullivan that US support for Kurdish militia groups in northern Syria and joint efforts to resolve differences between the two countries over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian S-400 defence system.
The White House said in a statement that the talks between the two countries’ top officials focused on the Biden administration’s desire to “build” US-Turkish relations.
Emily Horn, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said Sullivan had “informed the administration of its intention to strengthen transatlantic security through NATO” and expressed concern that Turkey could acquire a Russian S-400 air missile system. That is why the alliance has been damaged.
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NATO allies Washington and Ankara are embroiled in controversy over Turkey’s purchase of the Russian-made 400S defence system.
In December, the former Trump administration imposed long-awaited sanctions on Turkey over the issue, which Turkey called a “serious mistake.”
Washington says the S-400s are a threat to modern US F-35 fighter jets and to NATO’s wider defence system.
Turkey has denied the allegations, saying the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO.
Read more: Significant developments in US-Turkish relations after tensions
Ankara also offered to set up a joint working group to investigate conflicting claims.
Ankara said the purchase of the S400 was not a choice but a necessity because it had failed to obtain missile defence from other NATO allies under satisfactory conditions.