Joint Statement on the U.S.-Türkiye Strategic Mechanism

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March 9, 2024

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and Türkiye on the occasion of the seventh meeting of the U.S.-Türkiye Strategic Mechanism.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan presided over the seventh meeting of the U.S.-Türkiye Strategic Mechanism on March 7-8, 2024, in Washington.  The Strategic Mechanism featured open, collaborative, strategic discussions led by senior-level officials from the U.S. Department of State and Türkiye’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 7, followed by a meeting between Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan on March 8.

Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan reiterated their commitment to a results-oriented, forward-looking, positive bilateral agenda that advances shared objectives and addresses emerging global challenges.  They discussed strengthening the U.S.-Türkiye relationship on a wide range of issues, including regional priorities, counterterrorism, defense cooperation, economic growth, trade, energy security and climate change, and people-to-people ties.

Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan reiterated the support of the United States and Türkiye for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russia’s unacceptable war.  The United States welcomed Türkiye’s efforts in the Black Sea, including the recently announced mine countermeasure task group and the facilitation of vital safe routes for grain and other international commerce.

Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan discussed the ongoing crisis in Gaza and reviewed their respective diplomatic engagements. They underlined the importance of finding a path towards ending the conflict and addressing the humanitarian crisis immediately. They also reaffirmed their commitment to a durable two-state solution.

Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan reiterated the need to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  The United States and Türkiye relaunched the Türkiye-U.S. Counterterrorism Consultations during the Strategic Mechanism to expand cooperation against terrorism and addressing related networks engaged in organized crime and drug trafficking, as threats to their respective national security.  The Secretary reiterated the United States’ condemnation of the PKK terrorist organization, DHKP-C, as well as ISIS/DAESH targeting Türkiye and Turkish interests.  The United States and Türkiye reiterated their shared commitment to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS/DAESH in Syria and Iraq and discussed cooperation to counter the threat of ISIS/DAESH and al-Qa’ida affiliates present in Africa and Central Asia.

Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan discussed all aspects of the Syrian crisis and reiterated the commitment of the United States and Türkiye to a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned political process in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.  Türkiye and the United States reiterated the importance of the repatriation of ISIS affiliated detainees and displaced persons from northeast Syria to their countries of origin, where they can be rehabilitated and reintegrated into their communities of origin, and, as appropriate, brought to justice.

The two sides also addressed broader issues in the Middle East and Africa, including the need to build regional stability and connections through increased economic and security cooperation.

Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and underscored the importance of preserving stability and channels for communication.  The Secretary welcomed ongoing engagement between Türkiye and Greece, including the Fifth High-Level Cooperation Council in December 2023, in Athens and the signing of a Türkiye-Greece Declaration on Friendly Relations and Good Neighborliness.

On the South Caucasus, Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan committed to work together to promote a balanced and lasting peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and concurred that this would promote regional stability, cooperation, and welfare.

Looking ahead to the 75th NATO Summit in Washington, Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan discussed ways to bolster NATO coordination and solidarity in the face of current threats and challenges.  They reaffirmed their long-standing commitment to collective defense as Allies, as well as to NATO’s Open Door Policy.  As NATO’s two largest armed forces, both sides reiterated the importance of our commitments, as well as our renewed, two-way defense trade relationship to enhance capabilities, ensure interoperability and increase the strength of our collective security.  The two ministers welcomed Sweden’s accession as the 32nd NATO Ally that will strengthen the Alliance and Euro-Atlantic security.

Looking forward, Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan discussed opportunities to transform the U.S.-Türkiye security and defense relationship to build upon each country’s significant capabilities and innovation to meet strategic challenges and opportunities.  In this regard, they announced the U.S.-Türkiye Defense Trade Dialogue would meet in 2024 and both countries would pursue opportunities to advance defense industrial cooperation.

Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan appreciated the continuous growth in U.S.-Türkiye-bilateral trade, which has reached over 30 billion.  They reaffirmed the importance of expanding economic and commercial cooperation and building upon existing bilateral fora—such as the Digital Dialogue, held on March 4 in Türkiye—to broaden and deepen our economic cooperation.  The two sides discussed capitalizing on financing opportunities under the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment to create high standards for infrastructure in developing nations.  Both sides endorsed an Energy and Climate Dialogue (ECD), which will be launched and co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Energy and Türkiye’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources together with the participation of the U.S. State Department and Türkiye’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The ECD will advance energy security and the energy transition in both countries and cooperation on climate change. Both sides acknowledged, particularly in light of net zero targets, the growing importance of civil nuclear energy, both conventional and Small Modular Reactors, developed to the highest standards of safety, security, and nonproliferation, and encouraged Turkish and US public and private sectors to explore opportunities and develop concrete proposals for cooperation in this field.

Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan also recognized people-to-people relations between the two countries as one of the pillars of the bilateral relationship.  This year’s 75th anniversary of the U.S.-Türkiye Fulbright program is illustrative of this connection.  The two sides acknowledged the 2021 Cultural Property Agreement through which 72 Turkish cultural and historic artifacts have been returned to Türkiye since the Agreement’s entry into force as a reference point for the strength of our partnership.

Secretary Blinken and Minister Fidan welcomed their opportunity to use the Strategic Mechanism to build a positive, forward-looking, strategic vision to advance shared objectives.  The two sides look forward to the continued advancement of the U.S.-Turkish strategic relationship and welcomed increased bilateral meetings.


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