Turkey's Erdogan to meet US' Biden in Glasgow, F-35 to top agenda
During COP26 climate summit set to begin in Scotland on Oct. 31, Turkish, US presidents set to meet
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said he will meet his US counterpart Joe Biden in Glasgow, Scotland during the COP26 climate summit, which starts this Sunday.
During their meeting, the issue of F-35 fighter jets will top the agenda, Erdogan told reporters.
Turkey made $1.4 billion in payments for F-35 fighter jets, Erdogan pointed out, jets which the US never delivered. "We need to discuss with them how this will be repaid to us," he said.
Erdogan earlier said the US proposed the sale of F-16 fighter jets as compensation for Turkey's payment for the F-35s.
In 2019, Washington announced that it was taking Turkey out of the F-35 stealth fighter jet program over Ankara's purchase of the S-400, a Russian defense system it bought after its efforts to buy US Patriot missiles were rebuffed.
The US claimed the Russian system posed a safety risk. Turkey, however, stressed that the S-400s would not be integrated into NATO systems and so pose no threat to the alliance or its armaments.
Ankara also repeatedly proposed setting up a commission to clarify the issue.
'No stepping back'
When asked about US media claims that Erdogan walked back from the expulsion of 10 ambassadors, the president said: “How did I step back? I’m on the offensive. There’s no stepping back in my book.”
"The step we have taken isn’t a show of strength to someone, it just means that the ambassadors serving in Turkey do not interfere in Turkey's internal affairs,” he said.
He underlined that ambassadors have no authority to interfere in the internal affairs of the country where they serve.
Biden showed his kindness, and the first statement came from the US, he added.
Last week, Turkey's Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of 10 countries – including the US, Germany, and France – for trying to meddle in the Turkish judiciary with a joint statement on the ongoing case of Osman Kavala, who has been accused with involvement in a 2016 defeated coup.
Erdogan on Saturday ordered the foreign minister to declare these 10 ambassadors persona non grata.
On Monday, the 10 embassies in Turkey announced that they abide by Article 41 of the Vienna Convention, which calls on the envoys not to interfere in the internal affairs of the states they serve in.
Erdogan signaled approval of the ambassadors’ new stated commitment, adding that from now on he expects them to “be more careful in their statements regarding Turkey's sovereign rights."
Fight against terrorism
On parliament extending authorization for anti-terrorist missions near Turkey’s borders in Iraq and Syria, Erdogan said Turkey will continue its determined fight against terrorism.
The parliament Tuesday ratified a motion extending authorization to launch cross-border anti-terrorist operations in northern Iraq and Syria for two more years.
The motion, referred to parliament by Erdogan’s government, allows the Turkish military to carry out cross-border operations in northern Iraq and Syria for two more years, from Oct. 30, 2021 until Oct. 30, 2023.
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