The US and Turkiye are “committed to working closely together to face current geopolitical challenges,” the nations said Wednesday.

A joint statement issued after a meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the top diplomats “intend to deepen bilateral cooperation through constructive and open dialogue as envisioned by the U.S. Turkey Strategic Mechanism.”

“They discussed ways and assessed concrete steps to enhance their cooperation on defense issues, counterterrorism, energy and food security, combatting climate change and boosting trade ties, while agreeing to intensify consultations on a range of regional issues,” it said. “They also reiterated their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russia’s unacceptable war. Within this framework, the United States and Turkey reaffirmed their support to find a solution to end the war.”

Cavusoglu said earlier that talks with the US regarding the sale of F-16 jets to Ankara were progressing positively.

The top Turkish diplomat referred to a State Department letter to the US Congress which said the delivery of the jets “is not only important for Turkiye, but for the US.”

“I can say that our negotiations and the meetings are going on positively, and the Congress should work on it as well,” Cavusoglu told reporters.

The Turkish government requested the F-16s and modernization kits in October 2021. The $6 billion deal would include the sale of 40 newly built F-16V fighter jets and modernization kits for 80 F-16 C/D models that the Turkish Air Forces has in its inventory.

Commenting on Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bids, Cavusoglu said Turkiye’s security concerns should be met.

“We have also legitimate security concerns that they have been supporting terrorist organizations,” he Cavusoglu, adding that another issue was export restrictions on Turkish defense products.

“We already expressed our concerns and I had a candid and direct talk with two colleagues,” he said.

Hours later, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan voiced confidence that Turkiye’s “concerns can be addressed.”

“Finland and Sweden are working directly with Turkey to do this, but we’re also talking to the Turks to try to help facilitate,” Sullivan told reporters at the White House.

“I expect these differences will be settled. I expect that NATO will speak with one voice and support of Finland and Sweden at the end of the day,” he added.

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