Following his talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the occasion of the NATO meeting of Foreign Ministers, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that new rounds of talks are planned between the US and Turkey.
“We have agreed with the US Secretary of State to hold an extended meeting in the US or in Turkey,” Cavusoglu told reporters in Brussels.
During Cavusoglu’s almost one-hour meeting with Blinken, he said they discussed all aspects of the situation in Syria, the stability of Iraq and support for the new government in Libya.
Stressing that Turkey wants to host the conference on Afghanistan in April, he said Turkish officials will meet with all parties to decide on a date.
Regarding the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system from Turkey, Cavusoglu reiterated that Turkey has already purchased the system and the agreement has been completed, ruling out the revocation of the decision. However, he reiterated Turkey’s offer to set up a commission with the United States to clarify any technical issues.
The United States has claimed that the Russian system poses a threat to the NATO weapons systems. For its part, Turkey, in response, argues that its efforts to purchase missile defense systems from the West have been rejected and the S-400 and NATO systems will not be integrated, thus there is no threat.
The State Department also issued a statement on Secretary Blinken’s meeting with his Turkish counterpart: “Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu at the NATO Foreign Ministerial in Brussels today. Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu discussed the longstanding importance of security cooperation between the United States and Turkey, including our shared interests in Syria and Afghanistan. The Secretary voiced support for ongoing exploratory talks between NATO Allies Turkey and Greece. Secretary Blinken urged Turkey not to retain the Russian S-400 air defense system, expressed concern over Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, and emphasized the importance of democratic institutions and respect for human rights.” /ibna