Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and the U.S. secretary of state on Feb. 15 discussed all aspects of bilateral relations, according to diplomatic sources.
Çavuşoğlu congratulated Antony Blinken on his new post, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The two also discussed a range of issues including the FETÖ – the group behind the defeated coup of 2016 – the YPG/PKK terror group, Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system, Syria, and the Eastern Mediterranean.
They also agreed to discuss in detail all issues on the agenda in the coming days.
During the meeting, they agreed to develop an “open and sincere” dialogue between Turkey and the U.S.’ new Biden administration based on mutual respect, it added.
The Turkish side also expressed “discomfort” over the US statement on a recent massacre by the PKK terror group.
The bodies of 13 Turkish civilians were found over the weekend during Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northern Iraq, massacred by the terror group.The U.S. statement Sunday said: “If reports of the death of Turkish civilians at the hands of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization, are confirmed, we condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also criticized the U.S. over the killings, saying it must stop supporting the YPG, the terrorist PKK’s Syria branch.
During his call with his Turkish counterpart, Blinken “expressed condolences for the deaths of Turkish hostages in northern Iraq and affirmed our view that PKK terrorists bear responsibility,” the State Department said.
“Secretary Blinken emphasized the longstanding importance of the U.S.-Turkish bilateral relationship, our shared interest in countering terrorism, and the importance of democratic institutions, inclusive governance, and respect for human rights,” spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
“Both sides pledged to strengthen cooperation and support for a political resolution to the conflict in Syria,” added Price.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.