US Secretary of Defense: We’re doing our best to strengthen relations with Türkiye


US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that Türkiye is a very valuable partner and we will continue to do our best to strengthen relations.

This came in his answer to the Turkish official Anadolu News Agency correspondent regarding Türkiye’s request to purchase F-16 fighter jets during a press conference following the meeting of the Defense Contact Group on Ukraine with US Chief of Staff Mark Milley.

Austin stressed that Türkiye is a NATO ally, and that his country has long and strong relations with Ankara.

He added, We’re doing our best to keep it this way for as long as possible, stressing that they attach importance to continuing joint cooperation between NATO partners.

He pointed out that he would not comment on requests for the sale of weapons and equipment pending without notification from Congress, and said: “However, I must stress that Türkiye is a very important partner, and we will do our best to strengthen our relationship”.

In turn, the US Chief of Staff answered Anadolu News Agency reporter’s question about the message behind his visit to northeastern Syria a few days ago.

Milley said that his visit was periodic to see the mission, objective, operations and protection of the US forces deployed in the region.

He pointed out that there are about 100 US military personnel in Syria, and that they are at risk.

He stated that US military personnel in Syria are under attack from different groups from time to time.

He added, “I went to see them and see if the mission was being carried out or not, and to prepare a report on their work”.

He pointed out that Türkiye and the United States have common interests in defeating ISIS terrorist organization.

He continued, “The caliphate of ISIS has been destroyed, but the organization still has remnants there, and there are still refugee camps and prisons there”.

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