Turkey – US relations improvement unlikely under Biden, former US envoy Jeffrey says

“The S-400s are a disaster for Turkey… Purchasing them was a historic mistake”

It is unlikely that relations between Turkey and the United States will improve under the Joe Biden administration, the former U.S. Syria envoy James Jeffrey said on Tuesday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has failed to “seize opportunities’’ and take compromising steps on a number of issues over which former U.S. President Donald Trump offered Turkey concessions, Jeffrey told Deutsche Welle Turkish.

In recent year, relations between the NATO allies have been strained by a string of issues, including Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system, the threat of sanctions against Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank for evading Iran sanctions and Turkey’s stance against an array of regional players in war-torn Libya, among others.

The former top U.S. envoy for Syria pointed to the Ankara-Washington crisis over the S-400 systems in particular as a barrier in improving bilateral relations.

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“The S-400s are a disaster for Turkey… Purchasing them was a historic mistake,’’ Jeffrey said, noting that the acquisition cost Ankara the F-35 fighter jet program.

Turkey acquired the Russian systems in 2019, despite threats of sanctions from the United States, which says the system potentially undermines NATO’s defences.

Read more: Ahval