Noting that the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden came with many new promises and made statements that they would take new steps after the Donald Trump era, Kalin recalled a phone call with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan last week as the first contact with the new administration.
“We actually handled all the issues in detail there. So it was a phone call that lasted about one hour,” Kalın said.
“We discussed in detail both the controversial issues and the issues with which we can act together.”
Kalın said there were three main controversial issues in Turkish-U.S. relations.
“The S-400 issue and the implementation of CAATSA sanctions in connection with it and removing Turkey from the F-35 program. Secondly, the support the U.S. has given to the PYD/YPG since the [former President Barack] Obama era. Third, the FETÖ structure still continues its activities against Turkey freely in the U.S.”
According to Kalın, these are the three fundamental issues with U.S. administrations that have strained relations.
“It started under Obama’s term and continued substantially under Trump.”
Kalın also said that besides the issues that need to be worked on with the U.S., there were also areas where the two countries can act together.
“We cannot agree on the PYD in Syria, but let me say that we have many common grounds regarding the future of the [Bashar al-] Assad regime,” he said.
Kalın noted other areas of common ground such as in Iraq, the fight against terrorism in the region, the fight against ISIL, the Eastern Mediterranean as well as in Libya.
The YPG and its political wing, the PYD, are the Syrian offshoots of the PKK, a designated terror organization in the U.S. and Turkey.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Turkey has repeatedly objected to US support for the PKK/PYD as a “reliable ally” in Syria, which has included supplying arms and equipment.
When asked about a possible conversation between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Biden, Kalın said the foreign ministers of the two counties will probably meet in the coming days.
“After that, let me say that in the coming weeks, there is no exact date right now, our president may have a meeting with Biden,” he added.
Kalin said in December that Ankara was hopeful for improved relations under U.S. President-elect Joe Biden despite a history of problems that would likely transition to the incoming administration.
Hurriyet Daily News