BY DAILY SABAH WITH AA
Turkish and U.S. officials held talks on Thursday in a third meeting of the Türkiye-United States Strategic Mechanism in Washington, according to a statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
“Building on their steadfast partnership and previous discussions under the framework of the Türkiye-U.S. Strategic Mechanism, the two reaffirmed their strong cooperation as partners and NATO Allies and engaged in substantive dialogue on strategic global and regional issues and areas of bilateral cooperation,” the statement said.
The statement said they reviewed the extensive security, economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties that underpin the bilateral relationship between the two countries, adding both sides reaffirmed their commitment to promote peace and stability and to further deepen and strengthen the enduring Türkiye-U.S. defense partnership.
They welcomed the recent growth in their bilateral trade relations and reconfirmed their mutual determination to advance their economic cooperation in every possible field, stressing that Ankara and Washington stand together in support of global public health as well as food and energy security, it said.
“The delegations also reaffirmed their mutual efforts to work to promote energy supply, access, efficiency, and independence,” it added.
Both sides addressed political developments in the region and consulted on the importance of strengthening Transatlantic relations and emphasized the need to fight terrorism, it further stated.
The delegations expressed their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and discussed ways to further NATO coordination, it said.
“The United States welcomed Türkiye’s efforts to broker the Istanbul Black Sea grain deal for safe passage of Ukrainian agricultural goods in the Black Sea,” the statement said.
The two delegations also discussed possible avenues of cooperation in different parts of the world and underlined the importance of promoting peace in the South Caucasus, it added.
“Both sides welcomed continued robust, candid exchanges on these and other issues and agreed to a continued exchange of senior-level visits in the future,” it said.
“Türkiye and the United States look forward to reviewing progress and exploring new areas of cooperation during the next round of the Dialogue,” it stressed.
On Oct. 31, 2021, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden met in Rome and agreed to establish a strategic mechanism that promotes high-level dialogue and addresses issues on which Türkiye and the U.S. do not fully agree, along with issues they are working on.
During the April 4 visit of U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland to Ankara, the Türkiye-U.S. Strategic Mechanism was launched.
On May 18, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken met in New York for the first meeting of the Türkiye-U.S. Strategic Mechanism “to reaffirm their strong cooperation as partners and NATO Allies,” according to a joint statement both countries.
Türkiye-U.S. relations have been strained in recent years due to the latter’s cooperation with the PKK terrorist organization in Syria, its stance toward the Gülenist Terror Group (FETO), disagreements over Türkiye’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system and Washington’s sanctions against Türkiye.
The PKK is a designated terrorist organization in the U.S., Türkiye, and the European Union, and Washington’s support for its Syrian affiliate has been a major strain on bilateral relations with Ankara. The U.S. primarily partnered with the YPG in northeastern Syria to fight the Daesh terrorist group. On the other hand, Türkiye strongly opposed the YPG’s presence in northern Syria. Ankara has long objected to the U.S.’ support for the YPG, a group that poses a threat to Türkiye and that terrorizes local people, destroying their homes and forcing them to flee.
Under the pretext of fighting Daesh, the U.S. has provided military training and given truckloads of military support to the YPG, despite its NATO ally’s security concerns. Underlining that one cannot support one terrorist group to defeat another, Türkiye conducted its own counterterrorism operations, over the course of which it has managed to eliminate a significant number of terrorists from the region.