Joe Biden

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in Vilnius, Lithuania

July 11, 2023

President Biden. Mr. President, it's good to see you again—delighted to be with you. And you know, we're at this historic summit meeting. We're resolving a lot of things, I hope.

And you made all the more historic by the agreement you reached yesterday in the admission of Sweden and how you're going to proceed. I want to thank you for your diplomacy and your courage to take that on. And I want to thank you for your leadership, Mr. President.

This summit is reaffirming our commitment to NATO defense with close allies in NATO, and I hope we can make it even stronger.

So, welcome.

President Erdogan. Mr. President, my dear friend, I would like to, first of all, thank you for congratulating me in the aftermath of my reelection to my current post. And I'm grateful for the congratulatory messages that you have extended to me.

And within the framework of our strategic mechanism, I think it's high time for the heads of states to get together for further consultations. That's why I believe today's meeting with you within the margin of the NATO summit is the first step forward.

Our meetings prior to this were mere warmups, but now we are initiating a new process. This new process is a process of 5 years.

And now you are getting prepared for the forthcoming elections. And with the forthcoming elections, I would like to take this opportunity to also wish you the best of luck.

President Biden. Thank you very much.

President Erdogan. Thank you.

President Biden. And we look forward to meeting with you the next 5 years. [Laughter] Okay, thank you.

Q. Mr. President, what's your message for Ukrainians for its people as adults if you leave—[inaudible]—NATO?

Q. Mr. President, President Zelenskyy said it was "absurd" that Ukraine doesn't have a timeline for membership. What did you think of his comment, Mr. President?

Q. What's your reaction to what Zelenskyy said earlier today?

Q. Mr. President, are you worried that this proposal does not have the support of President Zelenskyy?

NOTE: The President spoke at 6:20 p.m. at the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre. Reporters referred to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. President Erdogan spoke in Turkish, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in Vilnius, Lithuania Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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