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TURKEY: Senate Foreign Relations Members Meet Govt Officials In Ankara

US

A meeting between a US delegation including Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Chris Murphy (D-CT), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and US Ambassador to Turkey Jeff Flake and a Turkish delegation led by Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan is underway in Ankara, Turkey.

  • The meeting comes as Turkey recalibrates its relations with both NATO and Russia. Following the ratification of Sweden's NATO membership in January, Ankara has made steps towards reintegration into NATO's central defence procurement programmes - including the F-35 programme - which it was excluded from after buying a Russia S400 missile system in 2019, a deal which also incurred US sanctions.
  • Today's meeting suggests that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which has long opposed defence deals with Ankara, may approve Turkey's access to US defence tech shortly, and unlock a pending sale of F-16s.
  • However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also slated to hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Turkey at the end of March. Should that meeting go ahead it would be Putin's first visit to a NATO member state since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, suggesting that Erdogan will continue to balance cordial relations between both NATO and Russia.
  • Bloomberg notes that Erdogan has also, "vowed to make Turkey the first NATO member to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a China-led international security group that originally focused on Central Asia but is now expanding toward the Middle East."
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A meeting between a US delegation including Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Chris Murphy (D-CT), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and US Ambassador to Turkey Jeff Flake and a Turkish delegation led by Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan is underway in Ankara, Turkey.

  • The meeting comes as Turkey recalibrates its relations with both NATO and Russia. Following the ratification of Sweden's NATO membership in January, Ankara has made steps towards reintegration into NATO's central defence procurement programmes - including the F-35 programme - which it was excluded from after buying a Russia S400 missile system in 2019, a deal which also incurred US sanctions.
  • Today's meeting suggests that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which has long opposed defence deals with Ankara, may approve Turkey's access to US defence tech shortly, and unlock a pending sale of F-16s.
  • However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also slated to hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Turkey at the end of March. Should that meeting go ahead it would be Putin's first visit to a NATO member state since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, suggesting that Erdogan will continue to balance cordial relations between both NATO and Russia.
  • Bloomberg notes that Erdogan has also, "vowed to make Turkey the first NATO member to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a China-led international security group that originally focused on Central Asia but is now expanding toward the Middle East."