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Turkey is important to the United States: a former congressman

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ISTANBUL / ANKARA

Turkey is “just too important not to have a very strong relationship with the United States,” and Democratic candidate Joe Biden, if he were to become president, understands that much better than Donald Trump, a former member said on Thursday. of the US Congress.

Toby Moffett commented during an online panel titled “US Election Review: What Next for Turkey and the US” hosted by the Council for External Economic Relations of Turkey (DEIK).

Asked about the possible impacts of Biden’s presidency on Turkish-US relations, Moffett said, “I think everyone involved in this event knows that there are certain difficulties in the relationship.”

“And they know there is a basic political factor, if you will, in the United States that sometimes works against Turkey in bilateral relations. It is obvious for the moment, ”he declared.

“I have known Joe Biden since […] over 40 years. We were very young members of Congress together, ”Moffett said.

“He’s a guy who cherishes and values ​​these relationships and America’s role in the world.

“Obviously there is tension in our country between Trump’s point of view, which is a more one-sided, an American point of view going it alone, and Biden has a much more multinational perspective,” he said. he added.

“So almost immediately he will move to reinsert the United States into the climate discussion around Paris or the Paris accords, almost immediately he will raise awareness in my opinion to our staunch allies including Turkey,” with regard to Iran and the nuclear issue.

“He knows that there are points of contact and points of crisis in the world as at every moment.

“He will be much more aggressive in trying to get a simple consensus on some of these issues in Libya, where Turkey obviously has a very important role to play,” [and on] Syria, even if there are obviously differences around the Kurdish question, ”he said.

“There is so much that Turkey and the United States can do together.”

Biden is on the verge of victory, barely six delegates short of the 270 votes the constituency needs to win the presidency. Trump, while still competitive, has many more delegates to rack up, currently at 214, according to the AP.

– Trump supporters “are extremely loyal to him”

Former Republican Congressman Vin Weber has said Trump’s impact on the Republican Party will continue and relations with Turkey will not deteriorate significantly despite the likely tensions.

“He is extremely popular with the Republican base. He has over 90% approval from Republicans. His people are even talking about their prospect of running again in four years, if they lose this election ”

“And I believe that his supporters are extremely loyal to him and that no one could seriously challenge him, at least at this time, for their party leadership,” he added.

Asked whether the Republicans will continue Trump’s relations with Turkey or whether Biden’s negative outlook from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will negatively affect relations between the two countries, Weber said: “The problem is not only that Biden has a different attitude towards Turkey, but that he made a He criticized Trump or, in his own words, “pampering dictators” and mentioned Erdogan among others. “

“Biden is almost forced to take a slightly harder line on relations with Turkey, but he’s not going to break. There are fundamental things that will keep him from making things worse. one, of course, is the security relationship, ”he said. .

Weber went on to say that “Turkey is still part of NATO. It may be a restricted relationship, but it continues and it is important to us. And Biden is committed to multinational organizations, including the NATO. “

“Republicans in Congress will be taking a break from any serious trouble Biden seeks to cause for the Turkey-U.S. Relationship. And I don’t think it’s a cataclysmic event if Biden wins, but it certainly makes it difficult.” , Weber added, regarding the likely tension between the two countries.

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