Prime Minister Erdogan “tests water” with top U.S. executives this week-Source

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a statement on May 17, 2021 after a cabinet meeting in Ankara, Turkey. Distribution via MuratCetinmuhurdar / PPO / REUTERS This image was provided by a third party. No resale.No archive

May 24, 2021

Ebru Tuncay, Ceyda Caglayan, Jonathan Spicer

Istanbul (Reuters) -President Tayyip Erdogan met with executives from about 20 large US companies on Wednesday to discuss investment in Turkey, three sources told Reuters.

Sources said they were aware of the May 26 conference call and were hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce, the Turkish President’s Investment Office, the Turkish Embassy and the Turkish Chamber of Commerce Union (TOBB).

According to industry sources, the call was held beside the NATO summit in Brussels in anticipation of the upcoming meeting between Biden and Erdogan on June 14.

Another source familiar with the call said the US government was not involved in the call’s plans.

It was unclear which company would participate.

“This is a way to test your body of water with a U.S. company, and (a) a kind of preparatory work before a face-to-face meeting with Biden,” said the first person from the industry who, like anyone else, demanded anonymity. Sources told Reuters.

Ankara added, “I want you to convey the basic message that Turkey is an important partner to the audience at home and abroad.”

Fourth sources said Microsoft and Netflix executives would join the phone. Representatives of both companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A spokeswoman for the US Chamber of Commerce said in an email: “This meeting is private and off-record, so we cannot provide details.”

The Turkish President’s Investment Agency and TOBB declined to comment. The president, the Turkish embassy in Washington, and the US Chamber of Commerce did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Biden has kept a distance from Erdogan since taking office, and at the pivot of his predecessor Donald Trump, his administration criticized Ankara’s human rights record.

Leaders blamed Turkey on April 23, when NATO’s meeting was scheduled, when Biden told Erdogan that the White House called the Ottoman Armenian genocide a slaughter a century ago. is there.

According to a third source, corporate executives, including some CEOs, were expected to answer the phone and ask Erdogan to speak and ask questions about his investment and operations in Turkey. ..

According to the person, the phone was set around 1500 GMT on Wednesday.

Trade between the United States and Turkey will reach about $ 21 billion in 2019, and NATO’s allies say they are aiming to raise it to $ 100 billion.

Still, hurdles such as US tariffs on Turkish steel and the purchase of Russian missile defense by Ankara in 2019 have forced the Trump administration to expel Turkey from the consortium that produces the F-35 jet.

(Written by Jonathan Spicer, edited by Mark Heinrich)

Prime Minister Erdogan “tests water” with top U.S. executives this week-Source

Source link Prime Minister Erdogan “tests water” with top U.S. executives this week-Source

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