US President Joe Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a bilateral meeting on Monday following a meeting of NATO leaders in Brussels, CNN reports.
The meeting, which took place at the NATO headquarters in Belgium, was expected to be contentious. Biden in April became the first US president in decades to recognize the Armenian Genocide – a move that risked a potential fracture with Turkey but signaled a commitment to global human rights.
The two leaders have met several times before, but Monday was the first time Biden and Erdogan met as heads of state. Biden spoke by telephone with Erdogan for the first time as President in April and told the Turkish President he would be recognizing the genocide.
The meeting followed Biden’s first in-person NATO summit, which he entered with a vow to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to a military alliance his predecessor viewed with disdain. Biden focused on Russia and China and the cyber threats emanating from both countries during the summit.
Biden said the meeting was “very good,” in response to reporters’ questions at the end of the nearly two-hour conversation.