President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sept. 20 said that Turkey and the United States have the capacity to overcome hardships.
Addressing the Turkey Investment Conference held by the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (DEİK), Erdoğan said that the two countries are "strong strategic partners" and 70-year-long allies.
"This cooperation of ours, based on unique and solid foundations, has contributed to peace, stability and security in many parts of the world for years. Critical developments in the recent period have once again demonstrated the importance and value of the strategic partnership between our countries," he said.
"We have significant opportunities of cooperation not only in economy and trade but in a wide range of areas extending from security and war on terror to defense industry and investments.”
Noting that just like in personal relationships, states can also have differences of opinion from time to time, Erdoğan said: “We believe that these can be overcome through dialogue on the basis of solidarity and mutual respect."
"This perspective shows that the Turkish-U.S. relationship has the necessary capacity and maturity to overcome hardships that may arise. What matters is for both countries to have a strong political understanding and will in this direction," he noted.
Calling U.S. President Joe Biden "my treasured friend," Erdoğan said that they "reaffirmed our shared determination on this issue during the sincere and comprehensive meeting we had in Brussels on June 14.
"Mr. President and I are in total agreement that it is not only possible but also necessary to enhance our economic relations.”
Relations between the two countries have been strained over a host of issues. Although Turkey is a NATO ally, Biden called Erdoğan for the first time on April 23 to give him advance warning that he would be using the term “genocide” in the White House’s annual message to mark the April 24 anniversary of the mass slaughter of the Armenians in 1915.
The pair did eventually meet on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels in June, and the Biden administration has toned down its earlier critiques of Erdoğan.
Ankara's purchase of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems, however, continues to strain ties with the U.S. and NATO allies over concerns that the systems are not compatible with the alliance's defenses and may threaten the U.S. F-35 fighter jets. Turkey, which was expelled from the jet program over the Russian systems, rejects the concerns.
Erdoğan in June said that he had told Biden at their first meeting that Turkey would not change its stance on its S-400s.
In response, a senior U.S. diplomat in July said that Biden is committed to maintaining sanctions on Turkey under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for buying the systems and would impose further sanctions if Ankara bought additional major arms systems from Moscow.