US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a notable attempt to deescalate tensions in the Middle East as military clashes between Turkey and its neighbors increasingly strain relationships.
The meeting between Blinken and Erdogan took place in the Turkish capital Ankara, and was pre-announced by the US Embassy in the city. The primary focus of the meeting was to de-escalate recent military clashes between Turkey and countries in the Middle East, particularly Greece and Israel.
The two leaders discussed the need for a peaceful and cooperative solution to the conflict and reviewed the various ongoing issues in the region. It is believed that Blinken was attempting to urge Erdogan to pursue a diplomatically-initiated resolution to the tensions.
In addition to discussing diplomatic solutions to the strife, Blinken and Erdogan also covered the issue of Turkey’s continued purchase of an S-400 missile system from Russia. This particular missile system is considered a potential danger to NATO’s security, as Turkey’s neighbors may view it as an act of aggression.
The meeting seemed to have yielded some positive outcomes, with both Blinken and Erdogan expressing appreciation for the frank and open discussion. Moving forward, the US and Turkish governments have agreed to form an official diplomatic channel between the two countries in order to address the mounting regional tensions.
The US Embassy has also released a joint statement from Blinken and Erdogan stating that “The United States and Turkey are committed to resolving the conflicts in the Middle East through diplomatic means and the peaceful resolution of disputes.” Furthermore, the statement alluded to the progress made in the meeting and noted that the two sides had concluded the talks on friendly terms.
The meeting between Antony Blinken and Recep Tayyip Erdogan serves as an important step towards finding a peaceful resolution to the mounting tension between Turkey and its neighbors. Although the results of the talks have yet to become apparent, the formation of a diplomatic channel between the US and Turkey is perhaps a sign of ongoing progress towards finding a solution to the conflict.