Turkish, US presidents hold phone talk

Baku, March 11, AZERTAC

Turkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his US counterpart Joe Biden held a phone conversation on Thursday, discussing several issues, according to Anadolu Agency.

During the phone talk, the two leaders discussed bilateral ties as well as the Russia-Ukraine crisis, according to a statement by Turkiye's Communications Directorate.

It is important that Turkiye is in a facilitator position in search for a solution, in case the Russia-Ukraine crisis deepens further, Erdogan told Biden.

Even organizing a tripartite meeting of foreign ministers of Turkiye, Russia, and Ukraine in Antalya is a diplomatic victory by itself, he stressed.

The foreign ministers of Turkiye, Ukraine, and Russia met early Thursday with the aim of reaching a lasting peace as the Russia-Ukraine war has entered its third week.

The high-level tripartite meeting began at 11.20 a.m. local time (0820GMT) on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in southern Turkiye and lasted for more than an hour.

Turkiye's demand for new aircraft, F-16 jets modernization

Erdogan said he expects that Ankara's demand, which includes the purchase of 40 new aircraft from the US and modernization of Turkiye's F-16 jets, will be finalized as soon as possible.

Time has already come to lift all unjust sanctions on Turkiye in the defense industry, added the Turkish president.

In 2019, Washington announced that it was taking Turkiye out of the F-35 program over Ankara's purchase of Russia's S-400 air defense system.

Turkiye, however, stressed that the S-400s would not be integrated into NATO systems and so pose no threat to the alliance or its armaments.

Ankara has also repeatedly proposed setting up a commission to clarify the issue.

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