US ready for talks on F-16s, Turkey's fight against YPG: Erdogan

Türkiye Materials 2 November 2021 08:29 (UTC +04:00)

Turkey and the United States had positive talks on vital bilateral issues including the F-16 issue and the fight against the PKK terrorist group’s Syrian wing, the YPG, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, underlining that Washington is ready to cooperate, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.

"Mr. Biden said he will do what he can regarding the F-16s issue. Our defense and foreign ministers will discuss this, yet we might not get a result on this sensitive issue that concerns bilateral relations in a quick manner, since the way toward this goes through the representatives and senate," Erdogan said on his return flight from the G-20 summit in Rome where he held talks with U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday.

Delegations between the two countries will hold a second meeting on the F-35 issue in a few months in Washington, Turkish defense ministry sources announced Monday.

Turkey's 2019 purchase of a Russian S-400 air defense system has been a drag on ties, prompting Washington to block Ankara's plans to buy about 100 next-generation U.S. F-35 planes.

Turkey says its removal is unjust and has demanded reimbursement for its $1.4 billion (TL 13.32 billion) investment in the program.

Erdogan has said Washington offered Ankara a package of F-16 jets and modernization kits in exchange for the payment.

"Moreover, joint works, a bilateral mechanism will start rapidly between our ministers, officials and interlocutors on the areas of trade, regional, security and defense issues," he said.

The two leaders also discussed cooperation on regional issues including Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean and vowed to increase economic ties to reach the goal of $100 billion, the president said.

Speaking on his meeting with Biden, the president mentioned that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also present. He also indicated that he could have future talks with Biden at the Turkish House (Türkevi) – a landmark building in New York City which is a stone's throw from the United Nations headquarters. Erdoğan said also that he gave the U.S. leader his recently published book.