In letter to Donald Trump, Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls for better US understanding of strategic Turkey ties amid pandemic

This photo released by the Turkish Air Force shows a transport aircraft unloading medical supplies at Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, US on April 28, 2020.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent a letter to his American counterpart, Donald Trump, expressing hope that the United States will “better understand” the significance of bilateral relations between the two NATO allies during a coronavirus pandemic.

The letter was delivered on Tuesday together with a contingent of Turkish medical aid for the US.

    “I hope that in the upcoming period, with the spirit of solidarity we have displayed during the pandemic, Congress and the US media will better understand the strategic importance of our relations,” Erdogan’s letter read.

The US Congress has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the S-400, claiming that the Russian missile defense systems were incompatible with NATO equipment and could expose the American F-35 stealth fighter jets to possible Russian subterfuge.

Washington has also conditioned the supply of its Patriot missiles to Ankara on returning the already purchased S-400s back to Moscow.
Elsewhere in his letter, Erdogan hoped that the two sides would act “in a way that our common fight against our common problems necessitates.”

He further described the US as “a reliable and strong ally” and assured “all means of solidarity” with Washington in “combating the coronavirus outbreak and normalization process after the pandemic.”

“Dear Friend, our continued cooperation in the post-pandemic phase and close coordination and partnership in the implementation of the reforms and regulations required for the global system will be essential, particularly in the recovery of the international economy. I look forward to exchanging ideas and suggestions on this issue at the earliest convenience,” the Turkish president wrote.

He also highlighted the importance of bilateral cooperation regarding regional crises, including those in Libya and Syria.

Erdogan also noted that enhanced bilateral ties would help them reach their trade target of $100 billion.

The United States is the hardest-hit country in the world by the coronavirus pandemic that first showed up in China in late December 2019 before spreading across the globe.

The US has confirmed 1,035,765 COVID-19 infections and over 59,260 deaths so far.

Turkey is also the worst affected state in the Middle East by the outbreak, reporting 114,653 cases of infection and a death toll of almost 3,000 so far.