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Has Turkey’s Erdogan axed his Biden meeting because of Israel?

Despite rumors of a cancellation in Turkish media, several high-level US diplomats have traveled over the past few days to Ankara to lay the ground for the summit.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and US President Joe Biden shake hands at the start of the first plenary session of the NATO summit at the Ifema congress centre in Madrid, on June 29, 2022.
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Claims that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has canceled a planned meeting at the White House on May 9 with President Joe Biden due to the administration's Israel policy continue to circulate in the Turkish media, with neither the Biden administration nor the Turkish government formally denying them, which in turn is spurring even further speculation on their veracity. However, sources with close knowledge of the White House visit — which was long sought by Erdogan — told Al-Monitor that it will take place. As of yesterday, though, the White House had not yet confirmed the precise schedule with Ankara, the sources added.

Queried about the story, a US spokesperson told the Turkish media, “I do not have an announcement about a White House visit to make at this time. I can confirm that there are no changes to our plans for high-level engagement at every opportunity. For questions about Turkish officials’ travel, I refer you to the government of [Turkey].”

“A late announcement of a state visit is not unusual,” said a senior US diplomat speaking on background to Al-Monitor. “High-level visits are typically not announced until a week in advance, particularly when it involves a senior US official going to a foreign country,” the diplomat said.

Several high-level US diplomats have traveled over the past few days to Ankara to lay the ground for the summit, notably US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs John Bass and the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism, Elizabeth Richard, who was in the Turkish capital on Tuesday. 

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