Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Turkey’s top diplomat says U.S. counterpart invited him for first talks in three years

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken invited him for talks on May 18, which would mark the first in three years between the NATO members that have taken steps to improve long-strained ties. (https://news.yahoo.com/turkeys-cavusoglu-says-blinken-invited-134642230.html) Still, the two governments launched a joint mechanism this week to address frictions and boost cooperation, including a Turkish request to buy 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16 jets and nearly 80 modernization kits for its existing fleet. Speaking in Brussels after a NATO meeting, Cavusoglu said talks on the F-16s were going well and he welcomed reports that the U.S. administration sent a letter to Congress saying the sale would serve U.S. interests and NATO. “In order to hold a meeting at the foreign ministers level, Antony Blinken invited me to Washington on May 18, and we will evaluate this at that meeting,” he said. Ankara and Washington also disagree over policies in Syria and the eastern Mediterranean. Yet Turkey has ramped up engagement with Western allies since Russia invaded Ukraine. It has maritime borders and good ties with both Russia and Ukraine, and its efforts at mediating the conflict have been welcomed in the West.

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