US President Biden to host Turkey's Erdoğan for first time on May 9

Officials have stated that US President Biden on May 9 would hold the first bilateral meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Washington since his election in 2020. The meeting would mark the warming relations between the nations, after a period of strained ties.


U.S. President Joe Biden is set to host Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the White House on May 9 in the Turkish leader's first bilateral visit to Washington since Donald Trump was president, U.S. and Turkish officials said on Friday.

Ties between the NATO allies, long strained by differences on a range of issues, have thawed since Ankara ratified Sweden's NATO membership bid in January, following a 20-month delay that had caused frustration in Washington.

Yet strains persist, including over northern Syria, where U.S. forces are allied with Kurdish militants that Ankara deems terrorists and against whom it has conducted cross-border military operations.

Washington meanwhile has pressed Ankara to do more to ensure its sanctions on Russia are not circumvented in Turkey, a littoral Black Sea state along with both Russia and Ukraine.

A U.S. official said Washington sees the meeting as an opportunity for Erdoğan to agree to a full ban on the transshipment via Turkey of dual-use goods that it says Russia uses in its war effort in Ukraine.

Since Biden was elected in 2020, he and Erdoğan have met a few times on the sidelines of international summits and spoken by phone. Turkey has pressed for a meeting at the White House, where in 2019 Erdogan visited Trump, with whom he enjoyed good personal ties.

One of the two Turkish officials who confirmed the planned May visit said the visit was taking place during "a window of opportunity" for bilateral ties.

"We hope the visit will also be an opportunity to deepen cooperation in various areas and consolidate the spirit of alliance, including on counter-terrorism," the person said, requesting anonymity.

Ankara has complained for years of its deep discomfort with U.S. support for the Syrian Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG) militia, which it deems a terrorist organization linked with Kurdish militants waging a decades-old insurgency against the Turkish state.

But Washington says the YPG are key allies against Islamic State in Syria.