Biden and Erdogan agreed that Turkey will take the lead in ensuring the safety of Kabul Airport after the U.S. forces withdraw.
An American official said that President Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed during their meeting in Brussels this week that as the United States withdraws from Afghanistan, Turkey will play a leading role in ensuring the security of Kabul’s airport. .
But the official said that the two leaders failed to resolve a long-standing dispute that caused tension between Washington and Ankara over Turkey’s purchase of the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile system.
US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan told reporters on Thursday that Biden and Erdogan discussed the security of Afghanistan’s airports during their meeting at the NATO summit on June 14.
According to Reuters, Sullivan said that Erdogan had requested US support to help ensure airport security, and Biden promised to provide such support.
“The leaders have made a clear commitment that Turkey will play a leading role in ensuring the safety of Hamid Karzai International Airport, and we are now studying how to implement it to achieve this goal,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan’s remarks provided the first details of the American side of the meeting between Biden and Erdogan. He told the President of the United States Ankara will not change its position Russian S-400 missile system.
Ankara’s purchase of Russian air defense weapons interfered with the US plan to sell advanced F-35 fighter jets to Turkey.Washington has Remove Ankara from the F-35 fighter program And impose sanctions.
“I told [Biden] They should not expect Turkey to take different steps on the issue of F-35 and S-400, because we have done what we have to do for F-35 and provided the necessary funds,” Erdogan said on his return from Azerbaijan. Tell reporters on the flight. Thursday.
“We must pay close attention to developments. We will follow up on all our rights,” he said.
Turkey and the United States have differences on many other issues, including policy differences in Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The two leaders sounded optimistic after the meeting, but they did not announce any concrete progress. One potential area of cooperation is Afghanistan, where Ankara has offered to protect and operate Kabul Airport after the withdrawal of US and NATO forces in the coming weeks.
With the withdrawal of Western troops, the security of the airport is critical to the operation of the diplomatic mission in Afghanistan.
Last week, a Taliban spokesperson said Turkey should withdraw Withdrawal from Afghanistan in accordance with the 2020 U.S. withdrawal agreement, but Sullivan said that the Taliban’s comments did not prevent “detailed and effective” Safety plan The United States is uniting.
“Obviously, we take seriously the concern that the Taliban or other elements in Afghanistan will attack the Western or international presence… We believe that what the Taliban says publicly should not or will prevent the current efforts to establish such a secure presence,” Sullivan said .
As president, Biden adopted a calmer tone towards Erdogan than his predecessor Donald Trump. Biden quickly admitted that the 1915 massacre of Armenians was a genocide, and Biden stepped up his criticism of Turkey’s human rights record.
It is not clear whether Biden raised human rights issues with Erdogan during the meeting. Sullivan hardly provided any details. If any, S-400 deadlock Will be resolved.
“They discussed. The issue was not resolved. The two sides promised to continue the dialogue on the S-400, and the two teams will follow up on the outcome of the meeting,” he said.