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US, Türkiye Pledge to Deepen Their Defense Partnership


Asharq Al-Awsat


The United States and Türkiye reaffirmed their strong cooperation as partners and NATO allies, pledging to further deepen and strengthen their defense partnership.
The announcement was made during the third meeting of the US-Türkiye Strategic Mechanism Dialogue held in Washington on Thursday.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Turkish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sedat Onal attended the meeting.
Building on their steadfast partnership and previous discussions under the framework Mechanism, Washington and Ankara underscored their strong cooperation as partners and NATO allies and engaged in substantive dialogue on strategic global and regional issues and areas of bilateral cooperation, a US State Department statement said following the meeting.
Relations between the US and Türkiye have been strained in recent years due to Washington’s cooperation with Kurdish groups in Syria and its stance toward the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), as well as disagreements over Türkiye’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system and Washington’s sanctions against Ankara.
In the statement, the US Department said the two sides reviewed the extensive, security, economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties that underpin the bilateral relationship, adding that both countries reiterated their commitment to promote peace and stability and to further deepen and strengthen their enduring defense partnership. 
They welcomed the recent growth in their bilateral trade relations and reconfirmed their mutual determination to advance their economic cooperation in every possible field. 
“The United States and Türkiye stand together in support of global public health as well as food and energy security,” the statement said, noting that the delegations also stressed their mutual efforts to work to promote energy supply, access, efficiency, and independence.
Both sides discussed political developments in the region and consulted on the importance of strengthening Transatlantic relations. 
They underscored the need to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. 
The delegations reiterated their unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and discussed ways to deepen NATO coordination. 
“The United States welcomed Türkiye’s efforts to broker the Istanbul Black Sea grain deal for safe passage of Ukrainian agricultural goods in the Black Sea,” the State Department said.
It added that Washington and Ankara explored possible avenues of cooperation in various parts of the world, including the Middle East and Africa, and underlined the importance of promoting peace in the South Caucasus.
In October, US President Joe Biden and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Rome and agreed to establish a strategic mechanism that promotes high-level dialogue and addresses issues on which Türkiye and the US do not fully agree, along with issues they are working on.
The Türkiye-US Strategic Mechanism was launched during a visit by US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland to Ankara in April.
On May 18, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his US counterpart Antony Blinken met in New York for the inaugural meeting of Mechanism.

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