Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be meeting with US counterpart Joe Biden on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid later on Tuesday or on Wednesday, he told reporters on Tuesday morning. He ruled out the possibility of holding any talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is also flying out to the meeting.
“A bilateral meeting with Mitsotakis is not possible. I have said so before, which means that you are not paying attention to what we are saying,” Erdogan told reporters before leaving for the Spanish capital, where NATO leaders are getting together to discuss the alliance’s future and Turkey’s objections to the accession of Finland and Sweden.
“That door has closed until they get their act together and when they do, then we can clarify the roadmap and to what extent meetings can take place,” the Turkish president added about the possibility of reopening the channels of communication with Athens amid mounting tension between Greece and Turkey and increasingly aggressive rhetoric from Ankara.
On the matter of his expected meeting with Biden, Erdogan said the focus of their talks would be on Washington’s “stalling” over Turkey’s request to purchase new F-16 fighter jets. He added that there are “diversionary tactics” at play, but did not elaborate.
He did, however, express his frustration with the increased US military presence in Greece and accused the US of being “fixated” by Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
The meeting between Biden and Erdogan has also been confirmed by the White House. [Reuters, AP]