The President of the United States, Joe Biden, congratulated his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Wednesday, saying that he is doing “a great job” and that he wants to thank him for that. “He is doing a great job, I just want to thank him,” Biden said at the start of a bilateral meeting with Erdogan, on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid.

The two meet after Turkey reached an agreement with Finland and Sweden in Madrid on Tuesday to unblock the two Nordic countries’ accession to NATO. Biden also thanked the Turkish president for “his incredible work” in trying to facilitate Ukraine’s grain exports.

For his part, Erdogan has opined that they will be able to return to their countries with “full hands and full satisfaction” after the NATO summit. According to the translation of his words into English, he has praised the US role in NATO since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “Your leadership in this regard is going to be crucial to strengthen NATO in the future,” he said. .

He has also highlighted that the conflict in Ukraine and its consequences in the oil and natural gas sector requires everyone to work together to find a settlement that will resolve the dispute. “I hope and pray that we can establish a balance so that there is diplomacy in order to obtain positive results, especially when it comes to cereal,” the Turkish president said. Erdogan has recalled that there are countries suffering from a shortage of cereals and has stressed that Turkey will open “corridors” to allow the exit of Ukrainian wheat.

On the eve of the summit, Turkey reached an agreement with Sweden and Finland, with the mediation of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, which unlocks the accession of the Nordic countries to the Alliance. Biden has given his approval to the pact before it was announced and after having spoken by phone with Erdogan hours before.

A US government source has denied that the US had offered any compensation to Ankara in exchange for accepting the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, but, this Wednesday, a Pentagon official stated that her country “fully supports” the modernization of the Turkish F-16 fighter-bomber fleet. Previously, Erdogan had indicated that the main topic of discussion with Biden would be the F-16, whose sale process he had criticized as having been “delayed” for some time.

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