Joe Biden holds his first meeting as US president with Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, ending a five-month wait for the Turkish leader which underlines the cooler relations between Ankara and Washington since Biden took office in January.
The two leaders must navigate an array of disputes, most of which pre-date Biden’s taking office in January and which have strained relations between the two allies for years.
Turkey, a NATO member, has angered the United States by buying Russian S-400 ground-to-air defence missiles.
Washington imposed sanctions on Turkey’s defence industry and cancelled the sale to Ankara of 100 F-35 stealth fighter jets, the most advanced U.S. warplane. It is also ending the role of Turkish firms in making F-35 parts, although some have continued in the absence of alternative producers.
SUPPORT FOR SYRIAN KURDS
Turkey is furious about U.S. support in Syria for the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara sees as a terrorist group. Turkish forces have carried out three incursions into northern Syria since 2016 to push the YPG back from the border.
Biden’s only phone call with Erdogan since entering the White House came in April, when he gave notice that he planned to describe the World War One massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, forerunner of modern Turkey, as a genocide.
Erdogan said the designation was baseless, unjust and harmful to ties, and called on Biden to reverse it.