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Turkish, US deputy foreign chiefs to discuss ties, global issues

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The Turkish and U.S. deputy foreign ministers will engage in comprehensive consultations, delving into various aspects of the bilateral relationship and regional and international matters during a visit by U.S. Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland on Sunday.

The two-day visit of Nuland comes as part of the Türkiye-U.S. Strategic Mechanism, marking a significant step in bilateral relations between the two nations. Nuland’s visit follows an invitation from Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akçapar.

The visit also comes as Ankara recently ratified Sweden’s membership to NATO.

On Oct. 31, 2021, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden met in Rome and agreed to establish a strategic mechanism that promotes high-level dialogue and addresses issues on which Türkiye and the U.S. do not fully agree, along with issues they are working on.

Türkiye and the U.S. thereby announced the culmination of months of talks to set up a procedure for improving their strained ties, eyeing cooperation in economy and defense.

During Nuland’s April 4 visit to Ankara, the Türkiye-U.S. Strategic Mechanism was launched.

The announcement of the new mechanism comes after the decades-old partnership between the two NATO allies, Türkiye and the U.S., underwent unprecedented tumult in the past five years over disagreements on many issues, including Syria and Ankara’s closer ties with Moscow. There are additional sources of strain for the two countries, including the U.S. support for the YPG, whom Türkiye considers terrorists, and the continued U.S. residency of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) figures, including its head Fethullah Gülen, who plotted the failed coup attempt against the Turkish government in 2016.

The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S., Türkiye and the European Union, and Washington’s support for its Syrian affiliate has been a major strain on bilateral relations with Ankara. The U.S. primarily partnered with the YPG in northeastern Syria in its fight against the Daesh terrorist group, but Türkiye has strongly opposed the YPG’s presence in northern Syria.

Moreover, the U.S. sanctioned the Turkish defense industry in December 2020 over its purchase of Russian S-400s missile systems and has expelled its ally from its F-35 fighter jet program. Ankara has called the moves unjust, but the allies have since been working to set aside differences and focus on cooperation, including Ukraine.

Source: Daily Sabah

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