Turkey’s President Erdogan congratulates Biden on his win

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Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a gathering of Turkish ambassadors, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (Turkish Presidency via AP, Pool)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday, expressing Turkey’s determination to work closely with the new administration.

“I believe that the strong cooperation and alliance between our countries will continue to contribute to world peace in the future, as it has done so far,” Erdogan said in his congratulatory message, made available by his office.

Turkey was one of a handful of countries, along with Russia, that had not commented on Biden’s victory, which was announced Saturday. A senior Turkish official said Monday that Ankara would wait until legal challenges to the U.S. election results were resolved and for the outcome to be finalized. It was not clear what made Erdogan change his mind.

NATO allies Turkey and the United States have been at odds over the past years over a number of issues, including on policy over Syria and Turkey’s decision to purchase Russia’s advanced anti-aircraft missile systems, which prompted Washington to expel Turkey from its F-35 stealth fighter program.

U.S. legislators have pressured U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to sanction Turkey.

Earlier Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey expects steps that would resolve issues that are “poisoning” ties with the United States. Addressing Turkish ambassadors in Ankara, Cavusoglu added there were a number of opportunities that would help improve ties between the allies, including cooperation to end the conflicts in Syria and Libya.

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