US, Turkey reaffirm strong cooperation

US, Turkey reaffirm strong cooperation
Update: 16 September 2022 22:47
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The third meeting of the US-Turkey Strategic Mechanism, seeking to mend fractured ties and deepen bilateral partnership, held in Washington on Thursday

The United States and Turkey reaffirmed strong cooperation as partners and NATO allies. 

The two governments underlined their engagement in substantive dialogue on strategic global and regional issues and areas of bilateral cooperation, during the third meeting of the US-Turkey Strategic Mechanism in Washington DC on Thursday.

Both sides also confirmed their commitment “to promote peace and stability and to further deepen and strengthen the enduring U.S.-Turkey defense partnership,” a joint statement released by the US State Department and Turkish Foreign Ministry said. 

The United States and Turkey are seeking to strengthen bilateral relations fractured by the latter’s acquisition of Russian S-400 air defence systems in 2019, that have resulted in its expulsion from a F-35 fifth generation fighter jet development programme. Washington and Ankara in April launched a mechanism to resolve differences and deepen ties, to honor a commitment made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his US counterpart Joe Biden during a meeting in Rome in October last year.

Under the framework of the US-Turkey Strategic Mechanism, the delegations headed by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal, “reviewed the extensive, security, economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties that underpin the bilateral relationship between the United States and Turkey,” the statement said, adding that US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland also participated in the dialogue.

The two governments that reconfirmed their mutual determination to advance economic cooperation in every possible field, also discussed political developments in the region and consulted on the importance of strengthening Transatlantic relations.

Underscoring the need to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, the delegations reiterated their “unwavering” support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and discussed ways to further NATO coordination, the joint statement said.

“The two delegations explored possible avenues of cooperation in various parts of the world, including the Middle East and Africa, and underlined the importance of promoting peace in the South Caucasus,” it said.

The mechanism launched in April during Nuland’s visit to Turkish capital Ankara. Later in May, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks in New York for the first meeting of the Mechanism at the foreign ministers level. 

In a joint statement following the talks, Cavusoglu and Blinken said the two countries were “committed to working closely together to face current geopolitical challenges.” 

Washington and Ankara are also at odds over policies such as in Syria and Greece. The United States frequently raises concern about the trajectory of democracy and human rights in Turkey.