U.S., Turkey pledge to develop ‘strong partnership’

 

The United States and Turkey pledged to continue cooperating in Afghanistan and on other regional issues to help bolster fractured ties.

“We’re so grateful to Turkey for its very strong partnership in Afghanistan and the work that we continue to do together there,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu ahead of bilateral talks in New York on Tuesday.

“Turkey and the United States stand together as strong partners and NATO allies,” Blinken said.

Çavuşoğlu said Turkey would work to further bolster relations with the United States. Bilateral ties have been compromised by differences over regional issues such as Syria, the eastern Mediterranean and Libya, and Turkey’s purchase of S-400 air defence missiles from Russia.

“We will continue working on Afghanistan together, we will continue our cooperation, as well as our cooperation in many other areas,” Çavuşoğlu said. “We will do our best to strengthen our bilateral relations work.” 

Turkey is partnering with close regional ally Qatar to re-open the international airport in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul to international flights. Turkey had offered to provide security at the airport after the U.S. withdrawal, a proposal that was scuppered by the Taliban takeover in mid-August.

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