Cavusoglu optimistic about the result of F-16 deal
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will have a meeting with US counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington on Wednesday, and senior diplomats of the two countries are to meet on Tuesday to discuss issues before the bilateral meeting.
Ankara and Washington will "aim to smooth out a series of disagreements" during Cavusoglu's visit, but "expectations that outstanding issues can be resolved are low," analysts for the Associated Press said, adding:
"US President Joe Biden's administration has kept its distance from Turkey because of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian direction and policies curbing rights and freedoms."
Pointing out that the two administrations "find themselves at odds over a number of issues, with the biggest disputes centering on Turkey's purchase of Russian-made missiles and American support for Kurdish militants in Syria," AP's Suzan Frazer and Andrew Wilks said that Cavusoglu recently "sounded confident that the deal for the purchase of 40 F-16 jets as well as technology for the update of its existing fleet would overcome congressional hurdles."
They noted that the US support for the Kurdish milita YPG (People's Defense Units) in Syria since 2014 has angered Ankara because of links between the YPG and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that has waged armed struggle against Turkey since 1984 and is designated a "terrorist organization" by Ankara and the US.
The analysts also stressed that Washington is worried about "sanctions-busting" as Turkish-Russian trade levels have risen over the last year in a period when Russia has been imposed sanctions by Western states because of its occupation of Ukraine.
"Ankara’s feet-dragging over ratifying bids by Sweden and Finland to join NATO has added to friction between the allies," they added.