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US Secretary of State Meets Turkish President Amidst Bilateral Crisis

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Faced with a crisis in the Mideast and several pressing bilateral issues, Turkish President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken,
discussing Israel’s war on besieged Gaza, the final steps to ratify Sweden’s NATO bid, and US
Congress approval for the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye.

On Saturday, Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) head Ibrahim Kalin and US
Ambassador to Ankara Jeffry Flake met in Istanbul’s Vahdettin Mansion. Blinken and Turkish Foreign
Minister Hakan Fidan had a one-on-one meeting earlier in the day.

According to Turkish diplomatic sources, during the diplomatic meeting, Turkish Minister Fidan
emphasized Türkiye’s eagerness for the completion of the F-16 acquisition process and underlined
that the ultimate decision regarding Sweden’s NATO membership rests with the Turkish Parliament.

According to sources, while the ministers reviewed the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Minister
Fidan referred to Israel’s rising aggressiveness as a threat to the entire region. He emphasized the
importance of an immediate ceasefire and ongoing humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza and urged the
start of negotiations for a two-state solution as soon as possible.

Minister Fidan, who expressed a commitment to avoiding tensions in the Black Sea, also addressed
Türkiye’s attempts to ensure the secure global circulation of Russian and Ukrainian food exports,
according to the sources. The summit also discussed regional problems, such as discussions between
Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as the crises in Syria and Iraq.

Since October 7, Fidan and Blinken have had multiple phone contacts and meetings to discuss Gaza,
among other bilateral matters. According to the US State Department, Blinken will emphasize
safeguarding civilian lives, freeing hostages, delivering humanitarian relief to Gaza, restoring key
services, and preventing the forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza during his regional tour.

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