Oct 31, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden raises missile purchase with Turkey's Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Joe Biden on Oct. 31.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Joe Biden on Oct. 31. Photo: Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Biden raised concern over Turkey's purchase of a Russian missile system in a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday, per the White House, saying their respective countries need to find an "effective way" to manage disagreements.

Why it matters: Relations between the two countries have been tested over issues like a threat to expel foreign envoys, including a U.S. ambassador, that Erdoğan has since walked back, and Turkey purchasing Russian-made weaponry.

The backdrop: In 2019, Turkey received "the first group of equipment" from a Russian S-400 air defense system despite warnings from the U.S., which said the system could compromise the alliance's security.

What they're saying: "I think obviously the S400 is an issue that continues to be a concern for Congress and continues to be a factor in all of these broader issues as part of our defense relationship," a senior administration official told reporters.

  • "I mean, the President and the administration have long been clear that the S400s are a problem."

Worth noting: The White House said Biden and Erdogan also discussed human rights violations and regional issues in Afghanistan and Syria, among other topics.

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