Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Mallory Stewart to travel to Jerusalem, Ankara between Sept. 4-9
A senior US diplomat will travel to Türkiye next week to meet with officials from the Turkish Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry to discuss arms control and security matters, the State Department said Thursday.
The State Department said in a statement that Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Mallory Stewart will travel to Jerusalem and Ankara between Sept. 4-9.
“In Ankara, Assistant Secretary Stewart will meet with MFA and Ministry of National Defense officials on strategic stability, risk reduction and current arms control and security matters,” the statement said.
Stewart will also travel to Jerusalem, where she will meet with officials from the Israeli Foreign Ministry for discussions on “strategic stability, multilateral arms control, responsible uses of artificial intelligence and space security,” said the statement.
Relations between Ankara and Washington have been strained in recent years due to a number of issues, including US support for the YPG/PKK in Syria and disagreements over Türkiye’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system and Washington’s sanctions on Ankara.
In 2019 under then-President Donald Trump, the US removed Türkiye from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program over Ankara’s purchase of the S-400 system.
Ankara requested F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits from Washington in October 2021, which is awaiting approval from the US Congress. The $6 billion deal would include the sale of 40 jets as well as modernization kits for 79 warplanes already in the Turkish Air Force’s inventory.