Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a letter to his American counterpart Donald Trump, expressed hope that the US Congress will “better understand” the strategic importance of relations between the two countries, given the solidarity and medical supplies that are carried out against the background of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Erdogan’s letter arrived the day before, on April 28, along with the delivery of Turkish medical equipment to the US, including protective suits and masks, to help the NATO ally in its fight against the spread of the coronavirus. Erdogan’s office published the text of the message on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
The US Congress last year threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey in connection with Ankara’s acquisition of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems (SAMS). The pandemic that has engulfed the United States, Turkey and the entire world has temporarily frozen the US-Turkish standoff over a significant arms deal between Ankara and Moscow. Erdogan’s “gesture of goodwill” to the American NATO ally was the postponement of the deployment of S-400 batteries in Turkey on combat duty. However, earlier, Erdogan personally indicated that this would happen this month.
Washington earlier this year demanded that Ankara abandon plans to deploy Russian long-range SAMS, pointing out that this will put an end to Turkey’s participation in the program for the creation and further purchase of fifth-generation F-35 fighters and offering the NATO ally an “alternative” in the form of deliveries of American Patriot anti-missile systems.
“I hope that in the coming period, in the spirit of solidarity that we showed during the pandemic, the US Congress and media will better understand the strategic importance of our relations,” Erdogan said in his message.
At the same time, the Turkish leader hopes that Ankara and Washington will continue to “act as required by our common fight against common problems.”
As reported by EADaily, Turkey held talks with the United States on the possible protection of the currency exchange line from the US Federal reserve (FRS) and discussed other funding options to mitigate the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Turkish officials told Reuters on April 10 on the condition of anonymity.
Ankara seeks to provide additional financial flows and protect the Turkish Lira from significant devaluation through closer cooperation with the United States. However, according to Reuters, the Erdogan government is not considering “making a deal” with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), given what they call the “negative internal perception” in Turkey of working with this international credit and financial structure. Erdogan has previously repeatedly pointed to the reluctance of his Cabinet to have any dealings with the IMF.
Amid talk of warming relations between Turkey and the United States (forced mainly by the Turkish side at the moment), there were suggestions that, in exchange for possible loans, the administration of Donald Trump will require counter steps of military and political nature from the NATO ally. In this context, the high — profile arms deal between Turkey and Russia on the acquisition of the S-400 air defense system by a member of the North Atlantic Alliance was mentioned.