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Erdogan says Biden meeting opened 'new era'

By AFP - Jun 21,2021 - Last updated at Jun 21,2021

ANKARA — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that his first meeting with US counterpart Joe Biden had opened a "new era" of constructive ties.

The two men's first meeting as heads of state on the sidelines of the NATO summit last week came with Turkey-US relations at a low ebb.

Washington has imposed sanctions on Ankara for its purchase of a Russian missile defence system and spoken out about the deteriorating human rights situation under Erdogan.

But the Turkish leader said after a cabinet meeting that he and Biden had a constructive discussion and agreed to keep the lines of communication open.

"We beleve that we have opened the doors to a new era that is based on positive and constructive ties with the US," he said.

"We are determined to gain the greatest benefit possible for the country from the positive tone of our talks with Biden, strengthening our channels of communication with the US," he said.

"Turkey's only demand is that its economic and political sovereignty are respected in every field, and that it is supported in its struggle with terror organisations."

Ankara is upset with US support for a Kurdish militia in Syria that Erdogan views as an offshoot of outlawed militants who have been waging a deadly insurgency against the Turkish state.

Biden has said little about his meeting with Erdogan.

But his National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the two had a “detailed discussion” about Turkey’s role in securing Kabul’s airport after the US completes its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in September.

The two presidents “agreed that they would work together to make this happen”, Sullivan told reporters.

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