During the last Eid al-Adha holiday, the session held at the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Turkey was very informative in terms of being able to read the course of relations with the U.S. both for the administration and the Congress.
The meeting was also crucial in following the traces of the meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Joe Biden during the NATO summit in Brussels last month.
The participation of many senators in this session, where the administration was represented by U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, and the fact that very detailed questions were asked, shows that the Turkey case is closely and seriously being followed by the senate.
When we take a look at Nuland’s statements, the Biden administration is trying to manage its relations with Turkey, which has taken on a very complex structure, by dividing the current situation into three separate categories.
In the first group, there are areas where the two countries share the same point of view and cooperate well by following the same policies. In the second group, there are the issues that the two countries do not look at from the same point but try to close the differences of views between them. The third group includes problems that the U.S. deeply disagrees on with the Turkish government.
Nuland also lists the criticisms and expectations of the Biden administration regarding the problems in democracy and human rights in Turkey under a separate topic.
‘Turkey’s contribution to Kabul will be vital’
NATO comes first in the initial category where strong cooperation takes place. Nuland states that Turkey has made very important contributions to NATO’s missions in various parts of the world. Likewise, she considers economic cooperation, where the bilateral trade volume exceeds $20 billion, as a positive agenda. It places special emphasis on increasing cooperation in the energy and liquefied natural gas (LNG) field.
The U.S. State Department official includes the topics of combating terrorism and deterring the harmful influence of Russia and Iran in the Middle East among the priorities shared by the two countries. She lists Turkey’s support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia and their accession to NATO as another common ground. It is possible to conclude from this statement that the issues related to the Black Sea have brought Turkey and the United States closer.
Nuland explains that Turkey’s contribution to the security of the airport in the Afghan capital of Kabul will be “vital.” She states that with Turkey’s contribution, the U.S. and its partners will be able to maintain a strong diplomatic presence in Kabul.