President Biden on Tuesday met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the margins of the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Bali, Indonesia.
Biden in the meeting made clear that the U.S. stands with Turkey, which is a NATO ally, following a bombing in Istanbul on Sunday that left at least six people dead. Turkey’s interior minister had accused the U.S. of being complicit in the bombing, rejecting a condolence statement from the U.S. Embassy in Turkey.
The interior minister said the condolence statement was like “a killer being first to show up at a crime scene.” Authorities had arrested a Syrian woman and while no groups have claimed responsibility for the attack, Turkish officials have blamed Kurdish militants.
Also in the meeting on Tuesday, Biden expressed his appreciation to Erdoğan “for his efforts to renew the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which they both agreed has been critical to improving global food security amid Russia’s war and that the Initiative must continue.”
The initiative works to export food to Ukraine, and Russia rejoined the deal earlier this month after Erdoğan talked with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reported.
Additionally in the meeting on Tuesday, Biden and Erdoğan discussed continued close coordination on NATO issues, and other issues of regional and global concern, according to the White House.
The White House on Sunday sent condolences to Turkey after the bombing, saying in a statement that the U.S. stands “shoulder-to-shoulder with our NATO Ally Turkey in countering terrorism.”