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Türkiye, US agree to expand cooperation

Türkiye and the United States have agreed to further deepen their cooperation in all domains of mutual interest and intensify dialogue at all levels at a Strategic Mechanism meeting that addressed the former’s demand to buy 40 F-16s and Sweden’s bid to join NATO.

“As NATO Allies and partners, Türkiye and the United States reiterated their commitment to further deepen their robust cooperation in all domains of mutual interest. They committed to expand and intensify bilateral political, defense and security consultations at all levels, and to strengthen their comprehensive partnership in line with the strategic interests of both countries,” read a joint statement issued following the Türkiye-U.S. Strategic Mechanism Dialogue on June 23, 2023, in Washington.

Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akçapar and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland chaired the meeting in which the two sides were represented by interagency delegations that included officials from the Turkish Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defense and the United States Departments of State and Defense.

The statement stressed that both sides concurred that Türkiye-U.S. defense and security cooperation contributes to regional peace, and discussed progress on Türkiye’s request to modernize its F-16 fleet.

Türkiye wants the supply of 40 new F-16s from the U.S., but it requires the congressional consent as well. The U.S. congressmen seem to approve the sale only after Ankara greenlights Sweden’s application to NATO.

Swedish accession also on the agenda

According to the statement, the two sides reviewed preparations for the upcoming NATO summit to be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11-12.

Türkiye and the U.S. affirmed their strong support for NATO’s Open Door Policy and welcomed the membership of Finland to NATO, concurring that it substantially contributed to the strengthening of the alliance.

“They explored avenues to further reinforce NATO’s deterrence and discussed implementation of the trilateral memorandum signed by Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden, and Sweden’s path to membership in the Alliance,” it added.

The eastern Mediterranean was also on the agenda, whereby both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the maintenance of stability and dialogue based on the principles of cooperation and regional inclusion, the statement underlined.

Strong support for Ukraine

The two delegations reviewed the latest developments in the Russian occupation of Ukraine. “Türkiye and the United States reiterated their strong support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in face of Russia’s unacceptable war. Both sides pledged to continue to work closely with a view to finding a just and lasting peace in Ukraine, based on the principles of the U.N. charter,” the statement read.

In addition, the U.S. expressed its appreciation for Türkiye’s efforts in coordination with the U.N. to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which has helped stabilize food prices around the world.

Climate and Energy Dialogue to be established

While welcoming the steady rise in bilateral trade volume, the two sides addressed the need for enhancing cooperation in the areas of science and technology.

“Welcoming regular consultations on energy between Türkiye and the United States, they expressed their mutual desire and common goal to contribute to global energy security through regional partnership and advance cooperation on sustainable clean energy, including civil nuclear energy. They also committed to establish a Climate and Energy Dialogue in the face of the challenges the new global energy landscape presents,” it said.

Anti-terror cooperation

The delegations also discussed concrete joint endeavors to advance Türkiye-U.S. cooperation in other regions, and reiterated their unwavering commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including ISIL and PKK. “Both sides committed to remain in close coordination to combat terrorist organizations and root causes of terrorism,” read the statement.

Source: Hurriyet Daily