Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday he wanted to strengthen Turkish-US ties under the administration of President Joe Biden on the basis of “win-win.”
“Despite occasional differences of opinion, our partnership has managed to overcome all kinds of difficulties so far. Recently, Turkish-American friendship has been seriously tested,” stated news agency Anadolu quoted him as saying.
Erdogan, however, said that the common interests of Turkey and the United States outweighed the differences. “We want to strengthen our cooperation with the new US administration in the long-term on a win-win basis.”
The Turkish leader’s speech struck a much softer tone when compared to Ankara’s recent rhetoric on the US since Biden took office.
Ties between the two NATO allies have been strained over a host of issues. In December, the United States sanctioned Turkey for its purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems, while Ankara has been infuriated by US support for the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, which it considers a terrorist organization.
Ankara has called on Washington to end its support for the YPG and accused it of siding with militants who it says executed 13 Turks in northern Iraq this month, while the US has criticized Ankara over human rights and freedoms.
US foreign policy analysts said Erdogan was able to take more assertive actions on the international stage over the past few years, because his “friend” former US President Donald Trump was in the White House.
The last few years have seen Erdogan adopt a much more assertive foreign policy that racked up successes in Syria, Libya and most recently Azerbaijan, often at the expense of stronger powers. He even tried taking on financial markets, pressuring
Turkey’s central bank to keep interest rates low and pumping credit into the economy long before COVID-19 struck.
- With Reuters, Bloomberg