Turkey is “just too important to not have a very solid relationship with the United States,” and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, should he become president, understands that far better than Donald Trump, a former US congressman said Thursday.
Toby Moffett was commenting during an online panel titled “US Election Review: What’s Next for Turkey and the US” organized by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK).
Asked about possible impacts of Biden’s presidency on Turkish-US relations, Moffett said: “I think everybody who is participating in this event knows there are certain difficulties in the relationship.”
“And they know that there is a political grassroot, if you will, factor, in the US that sometimes works against Turkey in the bilateral relationship. That is a given for the moment,” he said.
“I have known Joe Biden for […] over 40 years. We were very young members of congress together,” Moffett said.
“He is a guy who treasures and values these relationships and the role of the United States in the world.
“Obviously there is tension in our country between the Trump view, which is a more unilateral view, a US going it alone sort of view, and Biden has much more of a multinational view,” he added.
“So almost immediately he will move to reinsert the US into the climate discussion around Paris or the Paris accords, almost immediately he will do outreach in my view to our staunch allies including Turkey with regard to Iran and the nuclear question.
“He knows that there are touchpoints and crisis points in the world as there are at every moment.
“He will be much more aggressive about trying to get some mere consensus on some of these issues in Libya, where Turkey obviously has a very important role to play, [and on] Syria, even though there are differences obviously around the Kurdish question,” he said.
“There are so many things Turkey and the US can do together.”
Biden is on the verge of victory, just six delegates short of the necessary 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. Trump, while still competitive, has far more delegates to accrue, currently standing at 214, according to the AP.
-Trump's supporters 'intensely loyal to him'
Former Republican Congressman Vin Weber said Trump's impact on the Republican Party would continue and relations with Turkey will not considerably deteriorate despite probable tensions in the way.
“He is immensely popular with the Republican grassroots. He has over a 90% approval rating from Republicans. His people are even talking about the prospect of him running again in four years, should he lose this election”
“And I believe that his supporters are intensely loyal to him and no one could seriously challenge him at least at this time for their leadership of the party,” he added.
Asked whether Republicans will continue Trump's relations with Turkey or whether Biden's negative perspective of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will adversely affect relations between the two countries, Weber said "The problem is not just that Biden has a different attitude toward Turkey but that he made an issue of it occasionally in the election. He criticized Trump, or in his words, ‘coddling dictators’ and mentioned Erdogan among others."
"Biden is almost compelled to take a bit harder line toward relations with Turkey, but he is not going to rupture. There are basic things that will prevent him from making matters much worse. One, of course, is security relationships," he said.
Weber went on to say that "Turkey is still a part of NATO. That may be a restrained relationship, but it continues forward and it is important to us. And Biden is committed to multinational organizations, including NATO."
"Republicans in the Congress will be a break on any serious problems that Biden seeks to cause for the Turkey-US relationship. And I don't think that it is a cataclysmic event if Biden wins, but it certainly makes things difficult," Weber added, regarding the probable tension between the two countries.
By Tolga Yanik