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Biden To Discuss S-400 Missile Deal With Turkish President Erdogan

During his upcoming meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, US President Joe Biden is expected to discuss many controversial issues, including Russian S-400 air defense systems.

However, Biden is unlikely to be successful, Milan Uhrik, who is a member of the delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee and the delegation for relations with the US with the European Union, told Sputnik.

Last week, Biden embarked on his first overseas trip to reconnect with G7, NATO and European Union leaders. The stops in the United Kingdom, Belgium and Switzerland are aimed to highlight the United States’ commitment to restoring alliances, revitalizing the transatlantic relationship, and working in close cooperation with allies to address global challenges.

Russian S-400 Triumf missile launcher – Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, Biden will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss “the full range of bilateral and regional issues,” likely including US opposition to Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.

“There will definitely be some attempts [to shift the Turkish interests toward the American side]. The question is whether they will be successful. In my opinion, their meeting can end with only a small improvement in relations. Especially in the economic direction or in the issue of sanctions,” Uhrik said.

The decision by Ankara, a NATO member, to deploy the Russian-made S-400 air defense system instead of the US Patriot system triggered a crisis in US-Turkey relations in July 2019, when the first batch was delivered to the country.

Despite the US authorities’ repeated demands to abandon the deal and sanctions introduced last December, Turkey refused to make concessions and has continued negotiating the additional supply of Russia’s S-400s.

“So there are indeed many issues that need to be resolved in bilateral relations,” Uhrik noted.

Uhrik noted that the relations between the countries soured when Erdogan accused Washington of involvement in the coup attempt in January 2018. Both criticized the human rights record in each other’s country, too.

Meanwhile, according to the White House, Syria, Afghanistan and Iran will be on the agenda of the upcoming meeting, as well as Turkey’s role in the negotiations concerning Afghanistan.

Uhrik thinks that Turkey is well aware that Washington is “losing its breath” in the Middle East.

“War adventures of Pentagon are too expensive and there are too many challenges for natural resources. Turkey has a stronger position and influence in the region for few years,” he concluded.

As the withdrawal of American forces and US allies from Afghanistan passed the halfway point, US media revealed that the Biden administration officials were in discussions with Pakistani officials to secure bases close to Afghanistan for future operations.

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