‘We’re planning to have a good conversation’: Joe Biden kicks off day 2 of the G20 by having face-to-face meeting with Erdogan after Turkish president threatened to kick out US ambassador
Presidente Joe Biden arrived at Il Nuvola Sunday morning for his second day at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Rome, which will start with a face-to-face meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
‘We’re planning to have a good conversation,’ Biden said as he and the Turkish leader posed for a photo.
Biden was asked if the administration would sell F-16s to Turkey, which American lawmakers have warned him against. The president was also asked if he would bring up human rights in the meeting and if Turkey had gotten too cozy with the Russians.
He ignored those queries and said ‘thank you’ to reporters.
The meeting comes after Erdogan backed down on a threat to expel 10 foreign ambassadors, including from the U.S., after he called them ‘persona non grata’ for a statement they released in support of jailed philanthropist Osman Kavala.
Presidente Joe Biden (giusto) and Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan (sinistra) pose for a photo ahead of their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 in Rome Sunday morning
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (sinistra) and President Joe Biden (giusto) in their bilateral meeting Sunday morning, which kicked off Biden’s second day of the G20 in Rome
Presidente Joe Biden (upper right) was joined by Secretary of State Antony Blinken (lower right), while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (superiore sinistro) had Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attend
‘I’m not actually even sure we would have had the meeting if he had gone ahead and expelled,’ the senior official told reporters in Rome Saturday night. ‘Certainly the president will indicate that we need to find a way to avoid crises like that one going forward.’
‘Precipitous action is not going to benefit the U.S.-Turkey partnership and alliance,’ the official added.
Kavala has been in prison since 2017 and was accused of conspiring with an American professor and the CIA to spy on the Turkish government, organize protests in 2013 and help plan a coup attempt in 2016 that left 250 persone morte.
Kavala has denied the charges.
Upon arrival at La Nuvola, ‘the cloud,’ in Rome on Saturday, where G20 leaders participated in their first in-person meeting in two years, Biden warmly greeted Erdogan, before the principles posed for their so-called ‘family picture.’
Presidente Joe Biden (sinistra) shakes the hand of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (giusto) as the G20 leaders meet for the first time in-person in two years. Standing in the middle is Democratic Republic of Congo’s President and African Union Chair Felix Tshisekedi
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (sinistra), British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (centro) and President Joe Biden (giusto) are pictured as they arrive Saturday at the G20 in Rome
Biden was originally expected to meet with Erdogan at COP26, the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scozia, where he will travel next.
The sale of F-16s will be a central topic at the meeting, though regional security issues dealing with Syria and Libya are expected to come up as well.
Lawmakers have pushed Biden not to sell F-16s to Turkey and also threatened to block exports of the planes, over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile defense system.
Reuters reported earlier this month that Turkey wanted to buy 40 F-16s and 80 modernization kits for their existing Lockheed Martin-made fighter jets.