US, EU Remain Wary of Erdogan’s Diplomatic Charm Offensive

FILE - First parts of a Russian S-400 missile defense system are unloaded from a Russian plane near Ankara, Turkey, July 12, 2019.

Since U.S. President Joe Biden’s election, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been making diplomatic overtures to the West, pledging democratic reforms at home and promising a serious effort to improve ties with Turkey’s NATO partners.

The Turkish leader told France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, in a video call Tuesday that cooperation has “very serious potential,” and he added that dialogue has an important role to play.

“As two strong NATO allies, we can make significant contributions to peace, stability, and peace efforts in a wide geography — from Europe to the Caucasus, the Middle East, and Africa,” Erdogan said in a statement following the conversation.

Also Tuesday, Erdogan unveiled a long-awaited action plan he has trailed heavily since Biden’s election win last November, which he says is aimed at improving human and civil rights in Turkey.

“The ultimate aim of Turkey’s action plan is a new civilian constitution,” the Turkish president highlighted in his speech. The plan originates from the state’s “obligation to protect, in all of its affairs and acts and with all of the state institutions and organizations, the ph

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