Visiting Spain for official talks, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that his country wants to resolve differences with the United States and the European Union.
Finding ways to resolve the differences between Turkey and the US is an urgent necessity not only for bilateral relations, but also for transatlantic cooperation, Turkey's foreign minister has said.
"Turkey values its deeply rooted relations with the United States. We have an alliance that has stood the test of time and has been instrumental in shaping the transatlantic political landscape," said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday, speaking to Spanish news agency EFE during a visit to Madrid.
Cavusoglu noted that Ankara and Washington currently disagreed on a number of significant issues, especially concerning Turkey's national security, such as the US' aid to the PKK/YPG terrorist group, its inaction against Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), and its sanctions against Turkey.
He expressed Turkey's appreciation for President-elect Joe Biden's visit to Ankara during his vice-presidency under the Obama administration after a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 by FETO, showing his solidarity with the Turkish government and nation.
"Thus, we hope that this first-hand experience of the danger posed by this terrorist organisation will allow the new US administration to take urgent and concrete action on FETO and its leader," Cavusoglu said.
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US sanctions against Turkey
Cavusoglu said that a good first step to do this would be to remove the Trump administration's sanctions against Turkey imposed under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
On December 14, the US imposed sanctions on Turkey over its acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
In April 2017, when its protracted efforts to buy an air defense system from the US proved futile, Turkey signed a contract with Russia to acquire the state-of-art missile shield.
US officials have voiced opposition to their deployment, claiming they would be incompatible with NATO systems and would expose F-35 jets to possible Russian subterfuge.
Turkey, however, stressed that the S-400s would not be integrated into NATO systems, and poses no threat to the alliance or its armaments.
Turkish officials have repeatedly proposed a working group to examine the technical compatibility issue.
"There is no place for threats or sanctions among allies. These sanctions, whatever the purpose or basis, is a direct insult to Turkey's sovereignty," Cavusoglu added.
Turning new chapter with EU
Cavusoglu said Turkey is also working to turn new chapters in its relations with the EU.
"In 2020, because of some of the problems that we experienced with some member countries, there have been occasional tensions in our relations with the EU, which is not a situation that we wish," Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a press conference with his Spanish counterpart Arancha Gonzalez Laya in the Spanish capital Madrid.
"But, with the approach of Spain and some other countries, rather than tension, dialogue has been opted for, and the most recent summit prepared the groundwork for this," he added.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen will hold a video conference on Saturday, added Cavusoglu.
He said he will also visit Brussels to hold talks with the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on January 21.
Dialogue with Greece, EU
Cavusoglu told reporters that there had been opportunities to initiate dialogue between Turkey and neighbouring Greece.
"We are trying to use those opportunities, as Turkey, without any preconditions. We're always in favour of dialogue and that's the only way we can decrease tensions and solve problems," he underlined.
Cavusoglu also said Turkey and the EU should work together to face the challenges created by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"Turkey is a part of Europe, and for the resolution of the problems that Europe is facing, Turkey is ready to work together, also, to use the richness, and the opportunities that our region offers together."
"We are also ready for the resolution of issues of, for instance, migration and other issues with fair responsibilities and the sharing of the burden," he added.