After meeting with US President Joe Biden, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there is no Turkish-US issue that cannot be resolved, despite months of hostility.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday he had a "useful and sincere" meeting with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels, Al Jazeera reports.
"We believe there are no unsolvable problems in Turkey-US relations," Erdogan said after holding his first meeting with Biden since his election.
At a news conference on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels, Erdogan said "extensive talks" with Biden included cooperation on regional issues, and he stressed his long friendship with the US leader over the years.
In a brief briefing to reporters, Biden described it as a "very good meeting". He and Erdogan met privately before joining other officials. They spent a total of over an hour together.
The US president later told reporters the discussions were "positive and productive". He said the two had "had detailed discussions about how to proceed with some issues", but did not go into further details.
Biden has known Erdogan for years, but their relationship is often disputed, notes Al Jazeera. During his election campaign, Biden drew ire from Turkish officials, after he described Erdogan as an "autocrat".
In April, Biden angered Ankara by declaring that the Ottoman-era mass killings and deportations of Armenians were “genocide”, a term many US presidents have avoided.
Erdogan hinted that the two leaders failed to find a way to resolve differences over Turkey's purchase of Russia's advanced S-400 missile defense system. The US says the technology poses a threat to NATO and has removed Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program.
“Our thoughts on the S-400 are the same as before. I conveyed the same thoughts to Biden," Erdogan said.
Erdogan also called for an end to US support for the Syrian Kurdish armed group, which Turkey considers "terrorists".
One area where Erdogan hopes to demonstrate Turkey's central role in NATO is Afghanistan, where Ankara has offered to guard and operate Kabul's airport, after US and NATO forces withdrew in the coming weeks. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Turkey would play a key role, but no decision was made at Monday's summit.
Prior to meeting Biden, the Turkish president also met with other world leaders during the summit, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron, Al Jazeera reported.
Macron tweeted that he wanted to "move forward" with Turkey towards a relationship of mutual respect, after the meeting.
It was their first meeting since the dispute between the two countries peaked in October, after Erdogan questioned Macron's mental health.
According to reports from his office, Macron said he wanted all NATO allies to make clear commitments to the military organization's values, principles and rules.
The two discussed issues in Libya and Syria, Elysee said. Macron specifically accused Turkey of violating its commitments, by increasing its military presence in Libya and bringing in armed fighters from Syria.
Macron also highlighted that French secularism respects all religions, including Islam.
The French presidency said "clarification" was needed in response to Erdogan's strong criticism of Macron's stance on Islam and Muslims.
In another development at the summit, NATO members committed to confronting China's military ambitions for the first time, issuing a communique saying Beijing presents a "systemic challenge" to the transatlantic security alliance.
The NATO communique also said the alliance would adapt to climate-related security challenges, asked Russia to drop the designation of two of its allies (the United States and the Czech Republic) as "hostile nations", and urged Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities. Jazeera.