Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump may soon have a face-to-face meeting, either in Turkey or on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan next month, a senior Turkish official said on Wednesday.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official said Erdogan had invited Trump to Turkey and that there were “positive signals” the American president would accept the invitation.
The United States and Turkey have been at loggerheads recently, primarily due to Ankara’s planned purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems, which Washington says are incompatible with the NATO defense network and would pose a threat to U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jets which Turkey also plans to buy.
Investors have been keeping an eye out for a potential meeting between the two presidents because Turkey’s hopes of avoiding punishing U.S. sanctions have increasingly appeared dependent on a potential intervention from Trump.
Turkey’s finance minister Berat Albayrak, who is also Erdogan’s son-in-law, in April met with Trump and his son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner on the issue. Few details of the meeting have emerged, but Turkish media quoted Albayrak as saying Trump had a “positive understanding … regarding Turkey’s needs for the S-400s.”