As the US ambassador to the United Nations headed to Turkey late Tuesday to hold bilateral talks related to the humanitarian aid to Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ahead of the meeting warned that the US risks losing a key ally. The Turkish leader was asked by a reporter about Ankara-Washington relations when he told the State-run broadcaster TRT that "those who corner the Republic of Turkey will lose a precious friend”. His remarks were made in context to the first meeting with US President Joe Biden scheduled to be held on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels on June 14.
Since assuming office, the Democratic US President Biden has had several potential flashpoints with Turkey after he ousted former republican leader Donald Trump who held a close alliance with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On Tuesday, speaking at a round table videoconference with the executives from the prominent US firms to discuss reforms and investments in Turkey, Erdogan said that he believes the first in-person meeting with US President next month will mark the beginning of a new era.
Turkey’s bilateral ties with Washington had smothered during the office of the ex-President Trump, although with the Biden administration sworn in, Ankara and Washington have held contrasting viewpoints with respect to geopolitics, alliances, and governance. The major rift was caused by the Biden administration speaking out against Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system which the US asserted, had angered its NATO allies. Relations between the two countries further deteriorated after the democrat US President called out against Turkey’s human rights record. Biden had long delayed the phone call with his Turkish counterpart before finally holding the first dialogue with Ankara in April, nearly three months after he assumed Presidency.
Talks between Ankara and Washington were held after Biden made a historic declaration to give official recognition to the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. "What is the reason for our tensions with the US? The so-called Armenian genocide," Erdogan had lashed out while speaking at a press conference. "Don't have you have any other problems to deal with rather than advocating for Armenia?” he added. The Turkish leader slammed the US’ support to the Kurdish militias in Syria, which are deemed as “terrorists" by Turkey. "If the United States is indeed our ally, should they side with the terrorists or with us? Unfortunately, they continue to support the terrorists," Erdogan said. Tensions between the two countries have remained heightened over scores of geopolitical matters.