President Biden's April 24th Statement and Echoes of His Statement

President Joe Biden officially recognized the massacre of Armenians in World War I as a genocide. He is the second President who recognized 1915 events as “genocide”. In a statement made on Holocaust Memorial Day, on April 22, 1981, former President Ronald Reagan commemorated the victims of the Jewish Holocaust. In his statement, Reagan said, "The lessons learned from the Holocaust, just like the Armenian holocaust prior to it and the Cambodian holocaust after it, must never be forgotten."

President Biden said:Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring. Beginning on April 24, 1915, with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople by Ottoman authorities, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination.”

Turkey and Turkish American condemned the President statement on April 24th and shared their disappointed with White House.

Turk of America Journalist Ali Cinar interviewed prominent American Academicians who are expert on the issue and U.S. Turkey relationship.

Prof.Michael Reynolds, Princeton University

I don’t agree with what Biden said or did, but I think the biggest mistake is the one committed by Turkey, and that is to react to statement. The best thing Ankara can do, I think, is to say something along these lines: We respectfully disagree with the president of the U.S.A.’s assessment of Ottoman history. And leave it at that.

Yes, Biden made the declaration in part to slap Ankara and send a message about American displeasure with contemporary Turkey and its policies. He instrumentalized the issue, making something far from a brave statement of historical truth

But it is Ankara that makes this tactic effective when it reacts with fury. Biden bent over over backwards not to reference Turkey or Turks.

More broadly, Turkey should open the border with Armenia. Azerbaijan is ready for that, and it would be the best thing for Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

 

Prof Edward Erickson , Antalya Bilim University

It is a mistake to politicize history simply to please a political party's base. As a registered Democrat, I believe that President Biden has made a bad miscalculation.

President Biden and the Democratic Party need the political capital that accrues from pandering to the Armenian and Greek communities in America. Adam Schiff, a California congressman who represents a district heavily populated by Armenian-Americans, is a powerful voice and advocate for Armenians and he has pushed the party towards recognition.

Were I a Turkish-American, I would "just let it go" for now. This is a battle that cannot be won in our lifetimes and Turks and Turkish-Americans might, instead, sponsor research and scholarship which investigates other views and interpretations.

Dr. Mark Meirowitz, Professor at State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College and THO Advisory Board Member

Turkey should be proactive and request the implementation of the Turkey Armenia Protocols agreed to in 2009 by Armenia and Turkey, intended to normalize relations, which included the establishment of a historical submission of Turkish, Armenian, Swiss and other experts to do an impartial scientific review of the historical records and archives related to these events. This is needed to focus the world’s attention on Turkey’s willingness to do an objective analysis of these historical events.

Obviously since the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh the road to reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia will be much more difficult

As far as Biden’s statement previous Presidents have issued virtually the same statement annually referring to the events in 1915 as “Meds Yeghern” the “great crime” in effect synonymous to the events in Armenia - except this time Biden uses the term “genocide”.

100 Bipartisan Members of Congress submitted a letter to President Biden asking him to take this stance by using the word “genocide”.
And Biden did so.

In light of the phone call yesterday and upcoming June meeting between Biden and Erdogan on the sidelines of the Nato summit, Turkey should not overreact and as stated above ask that this issue be handled objectively as contemplated by the Protocols. Turkey has bigger issues to deal with when Erdogan meets Biden

Prof.Herbert Reginbogin, Catholic University of America

Demonstrate sincerity about the tragic events of 1915 - 1923 by making all efforts to seek the truth about the injustice of the past that occurred during this time by having parliament pass legislation signed in to law that all public and private archives are immediately open to a international commission of Turk and International historians

similar to the Bergier Commission in Switzerland and the same type of legislation passed by the Swiss Parliament in the 1990s. This means no government interference and it is enough to start with Turkish archives and other archives can be pursued such as those in Armenia, but is then in Armenia's backyard to open their archives as would be the case of Turkey.

Lawsuits in the US brought against a sovereign State like the Republic of Turkey are halted by the Department of Justice filing a Statement of Interest meaning that the U.S. government has a overriding reason in seeing such litigation move forward. Now that President Biden has announced his opinion that an Armenian Genocide occurred

the Dept. of Justice will very unlike file a Statement of Interest and the court will decide if such case has jurisdiction

in the federal court district where the civil lawsuit was filed. If the party has seeked justice in Turkey's civil courts or respectively can prove that he can find no such justice then the party representing the Armenian's will very like argue that the US court has jurisdiction under the US Constitutional provision referred to ACTA - Alien Claims Tort Act.

I think that it is an opportunity to work together to seek reconciliation for the injustices of the past. This was done in South Africa. It can also be a starting point for other historical conflict and injustice of the past including Armenia 1915.

Prof.Michael Gunter, Tennessee Tech University

President Biden is a good person who sincerely is trying to emphasize human rights. Unfortunately, in characterizing what happened to the Armenians as genocide he is being naïve and one-sided. Yes, we can all agree that the Armenians suffered terribly. And so did the Muslims! Neither side had a monopoly on good or evil. So to single out the Turks as somehow uniquely guilty, is not only naïve and one-sided, but unfair. Furthermore, to the extent that many supporters of the Armenian version of history also accuse Turkey of continuing genocide after WWI and even today regarding the recent war over Nagorno-Karabakh is risible. Anyone who knows his/her history, should be aware that after WW I, Turkey fought for its very existence against the Armenians in the east who were trying to conquer one-third of Anatolia, and the Greeks in the west who drove to within 50 miles of Ankara in their foolhardy attempt to resurrect the Byzantine Empire. And of course, just this past fall, Azerbaijan with Turkish support successfully regained 20 percent of its territory that Armenia had been occupying since the early 1990s when the Soviet Union collapsed. Azerbaijan had every right to fight to regain its occupied territory. Yet some Armenian supporters are calling this a continuance of Turkish genocide. Biden’s naïve statement today will give these people who seek to legitimize Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan encouragement. Furthermore, Biden’s misguided statement today ignores how what happened to the Armenians was part of a much larger historical process that began as early as the Greek rebellion in the 1820s, followed by uprisings against the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the 19th century that led to the deaths and ethnic cleansing of Muslims from the Balkans, a process that was renewed in the 1990s with Serbia’s violence against the Bosnians Muslims. Thus, the Armenian tragedy was part of a much larger historical process that Biden’s statement today simply ignored.

Turkey should not make a big deal out of Biden’s one-sided version of history and just shrug it off as it is not that important. Biden’s statement was only symbolic; it did not entail any sanctions as he has imposed against Russia. Remember that 40 years ago President Reagan also used the term genocide and US-Turkish relations survived. What is important are US-Turkish relations going forward. Already Biden and Turkish president Erdogan have agreed to meet privately at the next NATO meeting to be held in Brussels in June.

I think that if Turkey had not purchased the Russian air-defense system that the US claims could compromise US air power or used military power against the Syrian Kurds in Afrin or again to the east in October 2019, the US might not have been so prone to use the word genocide today.

Also I think the Armenian Lobby played a role in convincing Biden to use the word genocide, but not as much as most observers think. Rather Biden truly believes what he said and that by using the word, he will be promoting human rights and make such horrible events less likely to happen in the future. As I said above, Biden’s is a good person trying to promote human rights, but in this specific case he simply does not know his history, which should be left to the historians. Politicians should not pontificate about historical events they do not fully appreciate.

Journalist, Ali Cinar

Leaving Afghanistan: What will it be like for Afghanistan – and for the U.S. – after ending America’s longest war?

Turk of America Journalist Ali Cinar interviewed distinguished American experts regarding U.S. troops' withdrawal from Afghanistan. President Joe Biden announced last week that U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan starting May 1 to end America's longest war, rejecting calls for them to stay to ensure a peaceful resolution to that nation's grinding internal conflict. "And it's time to end the forever war," Biden said last week's announcement.

The Afghan war has cost the lives of 2,448 American service members and consumed an estimated over $2 trillion. U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan peaked at more than 100,000 during President Barack Obama.There are currently 9592 NATO troops in Afghanistan ( U.S. :2500, Germany:1300,Italy:895Georgia:860,Turkey:600)
 

James B. Warlick, Former U.S. Ambassador Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in the office of the Secretary of State

Was it a good decision withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by Sept 11th? İf yes why? 

Unconditional withdrawal only plays into the hands of the Taliban. As much as all of us want US forces home, the limited number of troops we maintained in Afghanistan provided not only vital intelligence and counterterrorism support, but also reassured the Afghan people that the US remains committed to a stable and democratic Afghanistan. Their abrupt removal will embolden the Taliban and lead to more violence and instability. 

As the negotiator of the US-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement, I also know that the Taliban views unconditional withdrawal as weakness. We have lost respect and have put President Ghani in a difficult position as negotiations continue. 

-How do you see Turkey's role hosting the peace talk and impact on US-TR relations?There will be a peace talk starting on April 24th. U.S. offered Afghan Government to host the summit in Istanbul 

- Turkey is an important country in the region and can play a balanced role. US-Turkey relations have been strained in recent years and I believe the Biden Administration would like to rebuild confidence and trust recognizing Turkey as a friend and ally. There are many areas, including Afghanistan, where we should work together. 

-How do you see Afghanistan's future after Sept 11th? 

In the short term, there will be gains by the Taliban and increased instability. The moderates and progressives such as President Ghani will be weakened by the increasing influence of the Taliban and more nationalist elements. I have confidence, however, that the people of Afghanistan want peace and prosperity. The Afghan military and police are becoming more capable and are gaining needed confidence. President Ghani needs to show that the institutions of government are working for the people. I do not believe that Afghans want to ever live under Taliban rule again. 

Richard Outzen, U.S. Colonel(Retired),Former U.S. Defense Attache'-Kabul

What do you think about President's Biden's  U.S. forces withdrawing decision from  Afghanistan? 

Whether it’s a good decision or bad will depend upon implementation. There is flexibility as the statement is written to leave sufficient troops to protect the US embassy in Kabul. To protect the personnel, operations, and programs for the embassy can be a fairly major task. Could potentially involve a significant Security Assistance presence with an accompanying force for physical security. If the Department of Defense is given the ability to interpret this guidance within reasonable guidelines, that still leaves a significant US security presence in Kabul to train, advise, and assist Afghan forces, and can help maintain stability in core areas of Afghanistan. If the decision is done with an arbitrary force cap of only a few hundred without a robust self-protection capability, it will be a bad decision, and likely lead to instability even in Afghanistan’s core areas. 

What is your opinion on Turkey's contribution to the peace talk? Would it help improving Turkey-U.S. relations?

 I am upbeat on Turkey’s potential role in stabilizing Afghanistan given longstanding historical ties. Turks are admired by secular and religious Afghans alike, though the former will mention Ataturk first and the latter Mehmet II. If Turkey plays a positive role in keeping Afghanistan relatively stable, despite the U.S. drawdown, it will be a net positive for US-Turkish relations. The presence of Turkish forces as part of the NATO mission in Afghanistan is one of the reasons that mission has been supported by most Afghans over the past two decades As for the summit, a study of such things in history shows that such meetings can be crucial turning points, usually leading either to good faith compromise when both sides are tired of fighting, or to new momentum for the aggressor if only one side is tired of fighting. We’ll see which it is, if it occurs. 

Any comments on future of Afghanistan?

I am relatively upbeat on Afghanistan’s future in certain parts of the country. There is a natural balance of power internal to Afghanistan that will re-assert itself once U.S. forces are not the primary determinant of events on the ground. The primary dangers for government control will be southern and eastern Afghanistan. But the government in Kabul is a vehicle for political rights and economic resources for the majority of Afghans, so I don’t see regime collapse or change in the cards. I see evolution of the government in a way that reflects this changing balance of power. There will be a cost in terms of stability and human rights, for sure, but again how deep that cuts depends on how the US and Turkey implement and adjust to this decision.

Doug Lute ,Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO

I support President Biden's decision. As the Biden administration weighs whether to remove all US troops from Afghanistan by May 1 — upholding the Trump administration's agreement with the Taliban — its discussions should focus on one main concern: preventing future terrorist attacks on the United States or its allies from Afghan territory. Since 9/11, this objective has guided US engagement across four presidencies.

Those who argue that we need to stay in Afghanistan to thwart attacks against the homeland are wrong. Biden should keep in mind the obvious: 2021 is not 2001. The terrorist threat from Afghanistan has been dramatically reduced in the last 20 years. The departure of US troops is not only possible, but desirable.

Yes, Afghanistan remains chronically unstable, with thousands dying each year from the ongoing war, extreme poverty and endemic corruption. Economic and political support from the international community must be sustained to keep the country moving forward. If such international support continues as international troops depart, it's quite unlikely that Afghanistan will revert to a Taliban-ruled harbor for al Qaeda.

*CNN interview with Charles Kupchan and Doug Lute & CNNTurk *

 

 

Journalist, Ali Cinar

Major Pressure on Russia During the Biden Era

The impacts of U.S. President Joe Biden's sanctions against Russia continue to be spoken in the world public opinion. The U.S. administration has stated that it has decided to impose sanctions against Russia for three reasons. Russia's interference in the presidential elections, the cyberattacks on the U.S. energy sector, and the reports that Russia paid bounties on the U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan were indicated. In this framework, Biden Administration has announced that;

- The expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats
- As of June 14, the U.S. financial institutions will be banned from taking part in the primary market for bonds issued by the Central Bank of Russia, the National Wealth Fund of Russia, and the Russian Ministry of Finance
- 6 technology companies that support Russia's cyber activities are also on the sanction list
- There will also be sanctions imposed against 16 individuals and 16 media outlets that tried to interfere in the 2020 presidential elections.

Biden: "Now is time to de-escalate tensions."


By saying that "We could have gone further, but I chose not to do so," in his special 7-minute talk at the White House, President Biden underlined their unwillingness to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia. Biden said, 
 
" I propose to Putin that we meet in person this summer in Europe. I expressed concern about Russia's military buildup on Ukraine's border and occupied and unoccupied Crimea. I affirmed U.S. support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of #Ukraine, and I strongly urge him to refrain from any military action."

Russian Aggression in Ukraine is Still a Major Problem

It is well known that the U.S. Administration is anxious about Russia's ever-increasing troop buildup around the east of Ukraine and provocations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and allied member countries in Brussels and made a joint statement on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Biden Administration is exercising intense international diplomacy to support Ukraine thoroughly and so that Russia does not take action similar to the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Unclarity on U.S. Navy Ships in Black Sea  


The U.S. Department of Defense explained  that demand for warships going to the Black Sea wasn't made recently.In addition, Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that the U.S. has given up sending military ships. It is known that the U.S. The Navy routinely conducts operations within the NATO exercise framework in the Black Sea. It is expected that the U.S. will continue pressuring Russia by collaborating with the allies.

It is not clear whether the U.S. sanctions will bring any changes in Russia's actions especially considering that the previous precautions taken by the U.S. failed to terminate the Russian cyber attacks. Some Russian diplomats were also expelled in 2016 during former President Barack Obama's presidency due to Russia's interference. On the other hand, although Donald Trump does not criticize Putin, he had put in place the option of deporting some Russian diplomats upon the allegations of Russia's poisoning a former intelligence service agent in England in 2018.

Journalist, Ali Cinar

Sierra Nevada to Establish New Space Company; Eren Ozmen Quoted

Sierra Nevada Corp. plans to launch an independent commercial company from its space business area to capitalize on potential opportunities presented by the opening of low Earth orbit to commercial space efforts, CNBC reported Wednesday. Sierra Space will be an SNC subsidiary and will focus on developing commercial space station and reusable vehicle capable of transporting people and supplies to space, according to an internal email from SNC Chairwoman and President Eren Ozmen announcing SNC’s plan.

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Great Educational Opportunity in Turkey

Recruiting Outstanding Researchers of TUBITAK 2232 Program to Beykoz Institute of Life Sciences and Biotechnology (BILSAB) at Bezmialem Vakıf University, Istanbul

Beykoz Institute of Life Sciences and Biotechnology at the Bezmialem Vakıf University is recruiting to fill tenure-track faculty positions starting fall of 2021. BILSAB is a modern state of the art research institute in Beykoz District of Istanbul on a beautiful historic campus (https://bezmialem.edu.tr/bilsab/tr/Sayfalar/anasayfa.aspx). The Institute was launched to engage in research, development, and education in accordance with the general mission of Bezmialem Vakıf University as a continuum to the 200-year tradition of the Gureba-i Muslimin Hospital.

Faculty candidates in the process of application to TUBITAK 2232 Program for Outstanding Researchers are encouraged to submit their C.V. for this recruitment initiative.Candidates with strong research background in any of the following broad areas of research interests are encouraged to apply:

- Biotechnology (experiences in the broad sense of biotechnology and their applications in the health sciences and industries i.e production of  vaccines, bio-similars and, bio-betters in various systems)

- Immunology (preferred background in viral, bacterial, tumor and/or parasite immunology, infectious processes and/or inflammation)

Selected candidates will be expected to send, and later present their planned research goals and expected be built on the already existing infrastructures of BILSAB. The planned presentation should include their expected growth strategies focusing in one of the research interest areas given above, highlighting the synergy with the current strengths of the University.  The selected candidates will be the additional key faculties in the newly established Institute. 

The hired faculty will be provided with adequate laboratory space and a strong start up funds.

· Applicants should submit the following materials digitally including:

· A letter of interest that indicates specific areas of expertise, long-term plans for research,

· A complete c.v.

· Name and contact details for three references

All application materials for above positions should be e-mailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

F-1 Students Seeking Optional Practical Training Can Now File Form I-765 Online

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that F-1 students seeking optional practical training (OPT) can now file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, online if they are filing under one of these categories: (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion OPT; (c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion OPT; and (c)(3)(C) – 24-Month Extension of OPT for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students.
OPT is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies (pre-completion) and/or after completing their academic studies (post-completion). Eligible F-1 students who receive STEM degrees may apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT.

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‘Salt Bae’ Slapped with $5M Copyright Suit Over Artwork of Chef

Famed chef Nusr-et Gökçe — better known as “Salt Bae” — has been hit with a $5 million copyright infringement lawsuit by a Brooklyn artist, who alleges the social media star used his artwork all over the world without permission according to New York Post' report. William Hicks says he and fellow artist Josphe Iurato were hired by Gökçe in September 2017 to make a mural of Turkish restaurateur “in his signature salt-sprinkling pose,” according to a Manhattan Federal lawsuit from Monday. The first work was displayed in Gökçe’s Miami steakhouse and subsequent commissioned stencil murals also went up at his restaurants in Doha, Dubai and New York, the court papers say.

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Turkish Ambassador Mercan started his new role in Washington,DC

Turkish Ambassador Murat Mercan is not a stranger to the capital. He has worked at the universities in both Florida and Ohio. He has also been to Washington D.C. many times during his term as a member of parliament.

Turkish Ambassador Mercan will soon present his credentials to the White House however, this will not happen face to face due to Covid-19 limitations. 

Turkish Ambassador Mercan met Philip Thomas Reeker, undersecretary for Europe and Eurasia, U.S. Department of State,Albert Bourla Pfizer CEO, Daniel S. Mariasch, CEO of the "B'nai B'rith International;"  Archbishop of the American Greek Orthodox Church Elfidoforos; and Senator Lindsey Graham, Members of Congress Pete Sessions, Bill Pascrell and Steven Chabot met with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and representatives of 7 different think tanks.

Ambassador Mercan started his duties very quickly, meeting with Turkish NGOs and business associations New York and New Jersey last weekend.  Ambassador Mercan visited Mor Gabriel Syriac Orthodox Church in New Jersey and met with the Syriac community members. He also visite Turkish Ahiskan American Foundation in Philadelphia and met with the members of the Ahiskan community. 

Recent interview with AA, Turkish Ambassador Mercan said :' Turkey-U.S. need 'realist but positive' approach"

"Turkey is much stronger with its military power, cultural history and human infrastructure when compared to other countries in the region. There may be cyclic ups and downs in Turkish-American relations. This is very natural.When you look at long-term relations, we should see what the mutual interests are between the two nations. Let's continue to talk about the existing problems, but those problems should not poison our cooperation in other areas.If we focus on existing problems, only develop strategies to solve those problems and put our relations into this framework, we will not be able to make much progress,"

Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin in Brussels for Ukraine

After Russia massed troops on the Ukrainian border, Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Brussels and announced again "the full support of the U.S. to Ukraine. "

There is heavy Ukrainian traffic in Brussels, the seat of the European Union and NATO. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken came to Brussels for a 2-day visit to hold talks on Iran and Afghanistan and Ukraine. Secretary of Defense Llyod Austin went to Brussels in the evening after his meeting with his German counterpart in Germany and joined Secretary Blinken.

Secretary Blinken met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba, who was in Brussels to seek support from the E.U. and NATO, in the first phase of their meeting the day before the extraordinary meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers and Defense Ministers. In his meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba, Secretary Blinken reiterated "the unwavering support of the United States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression." Secretary Blinken told reporters that "ongoing discussion for being Ukraine's a NATO member"

Speaking to journalists about his meeting with Kuleba, Secretary Blinken warned that since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, it has gathered the largest number of forces on the Ukrainian border, saying, "I conveyed the unwavering U.S. support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia. We continue to support Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration in the face of continued aggression in Donbas and Crimea."

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba is in Brussels seeking both political and military support from the E.U. and NATO. Political support statements were made from NATO, G7, and E.U. in the first place. However, no sign of military aid has yet come to Ukraine, which is not a member of the E.U. or  NATO.

Full support" from NATO to Ukraine

Alongside Secretary  Blinken, Kuleba met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and allied country representatives at the NATO-Ukraine joint meeting."NATO stands by Ukraine," said Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who met with Kuleba at NATO headquarters. Kuleba asked the allies "not to repeat the mistakes that led to the annexation of Crimea and to give concrete support to Ukraine."

Continuing his contacts in Brussels, Kuleba also held an assessment meeting with permanent representatives of NATO member countries on the crisis. At the meeting, Kuleba explained that they expect "concrete and effective" support from NATO, directly conveying the events in the region to the member countries' representatives and asking Europe and NATO not to repeat the mistake that led to the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg asked Russia to end the military buildup and provocations on the Ukrainian border and take steps to reduce tension. Stoltenberg said, "Russia's military buildup is unfair, inexplicable and deeply worrying. Russia should put an end to this military buildup in and around Ukraine, stop their provocations and calm down immediately."

NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu announced that NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg would meet with Blinken and Austin tomorrow at NATO headquarters.

Surprise Call with Putin:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Vladimir Putin of Russia. 

Here is the official statement after the call:

They discussed a number of regional and global issues, including the intent of the United States and Russia to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues, building on the extension of the New START Treaty. President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference. President Biden emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The President voiced our concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions. President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with U.S. interests, and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/04/13/readout-of-president-joseph-r-biden-jr-call-with-president-vladimir-putin-of-russia-4-13/

Journalist, Ali Cinar

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