Erdoğan says he will discuss F-35 jets with Biden in Glasgow

President Erdoğan has said that he will meet with U.S. President Biden in Glasgow and discuss Turkey's expulsion from the F-35 program.

Turkish President Erdoğan speaks with U.S. President Joe Biden during a plenary session at a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 14, 2021.

Duvar English - Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that he will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden at a summit in Glasgow starting at the end of this month and that problems over the F-35 fighter jet program will be the main topic at the meeting. 

Turkey, a manufacturer and buyer of the F-35s, was expelled from the program over its purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems. It says its removal is unjust and has demanded reimbursement of $1.4 billion.

Erdoğan has said Washington offered Ankara a package of F-16 jets and modernization kits in exchange for the payment, but the United States has said it offered no such financial plan.

"The information we received is that there is a payment plan of some sort with them," state-run Anadolu Agency cited Erdoğan as telling reporters on a flight from Azerbaijan.

"Whether this is true or not, we will find out from them. It will be good for me to discuss this with Mr. Biden at the highest level. If so, we will go for a deal in that regard."

Glasgow will host the U.N. COP26 climate summit between Oct. 31-Nov. 12. Erdoğan said previously he would meet Biden at the G20 summit in Rome at the end of this month.

Turkey and its Western allies climbed down from a full-blown diplomatic crisis on Oct. 25 after foreign embassies said they abide by diplomatic conventions on non-interference, averting a threatened expulsion of 10 ambassadors.

'I'm on the offensive' 

Asked about U.S. media headlines that Erdoğan had taken a step back in the row, the president said: "How did I take a step back? I'm on the offensive. There is no stepping back in my book."

The ambassadors, including the U.S. envoy, had called on authorities last week to free Osman Kavala, a philanthropist detained for four years on charges of financing protests and involvement in an attempted coup. He denies the charges.

The Council of Europe has said it was set to begin infringement proceedings against member state Turkey at its end-November meeting if Kavala is not released in line with a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling.

Asked about that meeting, Erdoğan said: "We will listen and see what they say. We will listen to the ECHR and the Council. After listening we will do what is necessary.