Biden to warn Turkey's Erdogan against 'precipitous' actions

Ankara will be told to 'avoid crises' as leaders gather in Rome for G20 summit

US President Joe Biden is to warn Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against “precipitous” actions, a US official said.

Biden is to meet with his Turkish counterpart on Sunday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, according to a senior US official.

Earlier this month, Mr Erdogan ordered 10 envoys, including the US ambassador, to be declared “persona non grata” for seeking the release of jailed philanthropist Osman Kavala, though he later withdrew the threat to expel them.

“Certainly the president will indicate that we need to find a way to avoid crises like that one going forward and precipitous action is not going to benefit the US-Turkey partnership and alliance,” the US official told reporters.

The official said a meeting between the two leaders may not have happened if Mr Erdogan had expelled the US ambassador. But the issue had been resolved, for the moment at least, he said.

Mr Biden, who is in Rome for the G20 summit, will also discuss Turkey's request to purchase F-16 fighter jets, its defence relationship with the US and a range of regional issues such as Syria and Libya.

US legislators have urged the Biden administration not to sell F-16s to Turkey and threatened to block any such exports on the grounds that Turkey had purchased Russian missile defence systems and “behaved like an adversary".

Reuters reported earlier this month that Turkey had made a request to the US to buy 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16s and nearly 80 modernisation kits for its existing warplanes.

The alliance between the US and Turkey, both members of Nato, has come under strain in recent years over policy differences on Syria, human rights and Turkey's Russian S-400 missile defence purchase.

Updated: October 31st 2021, 5:09 AM
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