Turkey’s top business group in Washington for talks over bilateral relations

Turkey’s leading business assocaiation sent a delegation to Washington this week for meetings with top U.S. officials amid heightened tensions over Ankara’s decision to acquire Russian S-400 missile defence systems, Evrensel newspaper reported on Friday.

Washington announced this week that Turkey will be ejected from the F-35 joint manufacturing program and the delivery of stealth fighter jets Turkey purchased from the United States will be halted, after Turkey started receiving the S-400 missile systems last week.

The Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) delegation, headed by the group’s president Simone Kaslowski, held meetings with officials in the White House’s National Security Council and the U.S. State Department, as well as some members of the U.S. Congress, Evrensel said. 

According to a written statement from TÜSİAD, the delegation emphasised during those meetings that common interests and values should be prioritised and dialogue should be continued to resolve the ongoing problems in Turkish-U.S. relations. 

“We hope that the tensions in Turkish-American relations that started over S-400s, F-35s, and sanctions will be resolved in a rational and wise manner by two allies guarding the common values and interests of the transatlantic world,” Evrensel quoted Kaslowski as saying in relation to the visit.

“Turkey’s future is dependent on the transatlantic system and the values of this system on the basis of a democratic world order that relies on principles,” the businessman said. “The two essential elements of Turkey’s strategic and historical direction are NATO membership, which includes the perspective of EU accession, and strategic relations with the United States,” he said.