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Then Vice President Biden meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York In September 2016. Photo: Kayhan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The White House announced Thursday that President Biden will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, on June 14.

Why it matters: The two leaders have had a strained relationship in the past, which has been exacerbated by Biden's decision in April to formally recognize the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces as an act of genocide.

  • Biden's recognition of the 1915 genocide was highly controversial within Turkey and came despite a prior warning from Erdoğan that it would harm U.S.-Turkey relations.
  • Erdoğan in return demanded that the U.S. "look in the mirror" and threatened to recognize the U.S.'s long history of violence against Native Americans as genocide.
  • The two leaders also clashed during the Obama administration, with then-Vice President Biden calling Erdoğan an "autocrat" in 2014 and saying he would support the Turkish opposition's efforts to defeat him.

The big picture: Turkey has also strained its relationship with the U.S. and other NATO members through its aggressive foreign policy decisions, specifically in Syria, and its purchase of a Russian air defense system.

  • The Trump administration sanctioned Turkey in 2020 over the purchase and withdrew the country from its F-35 stealth fighter jet program in 2019 over fears that the system could be used to gather intelligence on the fighter jet and probe its weaknesses.

Go deeper: Biden to travel to U.K. and Brussels for first foreign trip as president

Go deeper

Death toll in Turkey flash floods climbs to 70

A building is mostly collapse and severely damaged after the deadly flash floods in Bozkurt district of Kastamonu, Turkey on Aug. 15. Photo: Cihan Okur/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The death toll from last week's severe flooding and mudslides in northern Turkey has risen to at least 70, with 47 people still unaccounted for, AP reports.

The big picture: Torrential rains in the Black Sea coastal provinces of Bartin, Kastamonu, Sinop and Samsun on Wednesday caused flooding and mudslides that destroyed homes and buildings — prompting more than 2,400 people to be evacuated across the region.

Texas abortion law remains in effect after appeals court ruling

Pro- and anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court as arguments begin about the Texas abortion law on Capitol Hill in November. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A U.S. appeals court transferred a challenge to Texas' law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to the state supreme court in a 2-1 vote on Monday evening.

Why it matters: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision means the country's most restrictive abortion law can remain in place for the time being.

2 hours ago - World

At least 2 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least two people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Monday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Axios over the phone that two people had been confirmed to have died in the disaster.