A defiant President Joe Biden has suggested he will win the 2024 and keep attending NATO and international summits, despite dire approval ratings and mounting concerns about his age and health.
Biden, 80, spoke confidently about his electoral chances – despite trailing Donald Trump in recent polls – during a meeting with Turkish President Recep Erdogan on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Lithuania on Tuesday,
It came hours after Turkey helped hand Biden and the powerful alliance a diplomatic win by getting behind Sweden’s bid to become the 32nd member, at a summit where Biden vowed to defend ‘every inch’ of NATO territory.
Erdogan thanked the US president for congratulating him after his own election – which went to a runoff that had some officials contemplating a less strenuous relationship with Turkey, after it used its strategic position to maintain ties with Russia.
Planning ahead: Biden told Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan he looks forward ‘to being with you in the next five years,’ signaling he plans on winning reelection
Biden smiled and thanked his counterpart, who has dominated politics in Turkey for decades.
‘Thank you. I look forward to being with you in the next five years, Mr. President,’ Biden said.
Erdogan had called his meeting with Biden a ‘step forward,’ and made reference to his own five-year term.
‘And with the forthcoming elections, I would like to take this opportunity to also wish you the best of luck,’ said Erdogan.
Donald Trump regularly attested to his bond with Erdogan when he was in the White House.
‘He’s a friend of mine, and I’m glad we didn’t have a problem because, frankly, he’s a hell of a leader, and he’s a tough man, he’s a strong man,’ Trump said in 2019.
Biden and top advisors were silent as reporters shouted questions following his meeting with Erdogan. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and U.S White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan look on during a bilateral meeting
When he was president, Donald Trump vouched for his relations with Erdogan
The Turkish strongman was speaking on a day when he achieved a key objective while dropping his opposition to admitting Sweden – namely getting F-16 fighter aircraft from the U.S.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters in Vilnius Thursday Biden had previously ‘been clear that he supports the transfer’ of the jets.
‘He has placed no caveats on this … He intends to move forward with that transfer,’ he said.
Officials have been vague about additional details, and noted that the Greeks took part in a final meeting on the subject. Biden himself mentioned the jets in the context of bringing in Sweden in a recent CNN interview before heading to London for the start of his trip.
Biden was tight-lipped following his comments, barely flinching as U.S. reporters hurled a series of questions to him about the contours of the deal that will bring in Sweden, on Russia’s eastern flank. He kept his lips pursed as aides signaled the press event was over and escorted media members out of the room where they were meeting.
Biden is once again throwing himself into diplomacy, while facing a tough electorate at home. He is in a virtual tie with Trump in the Real Clear Politic average, which sits at 44-44, with Biden down slightly after trailing Trump in some June polls but leading him in others.
Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, a Biden ally, talked up the diplomatic breakthrough in Vilnius, telling DailyMail.com there was a ‘serious question’ when Biden got sworn in about whether the alliance was viable after Trump.
Durbin said an alliance that was ‘faltering’ was now a ‘strong, viable, credible operation’ with Finland a member and Sweden seeking to join.
Asked if Biden was bringing something home, he responded: ‘He certainly is. It’s significant. It’s historic.’
Earlier, Biden vowed to defend ‘every inch’ of NATO territory, as the powerful alliance took a key step to adding its 32nd member.
The president spoke in the capital Vilnius at the start of the summit as his national security advisor Jake Sullivan said talk of splits over support for Ukraine have been ‘greatly exaggerated.’
‘As I’ve said before, we take – NATO takes – all of us take Article V literally,’ Biden said as he met Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda at the start of the summit Tuesday.
He said all members were committed to the NATO Charter’s mutual defense obligations. ‘We’re together against whoever was violating that space. We’re going to defend every inch of it,’ he said.
Jake Sullivan on Tuesday warned that Vladimir Putin will be ‘disappointed’ by what emerges from the summit.
The top aide to President Biden hit out at claims that divisions had erupted over Washington’s decision to send controversial cluster bombs to Kyiv’s armed forces.
President Joe Biden vowed to defend ‘every inch’ of NATO territory as he met with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda at the Presidential Palace at the start of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania Tuesday
Biden kicked off the summit after a key breakthrough that would grow the alliance to 32 members
Biden signed a book before his meeting with the Lithuanian president
Biden touted the strength of the alliance. The U.S. has about 1,000 troops serving in Lithuania, which border’s Russian ally Belarus
Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda, right, welcomes U.S. President Joe Biden at the Presidential Palace prior the NATO summit in Vilnius
Biden advisors say unity of the alliance is on display in Vilnius
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had been among a chorus of voices who raised concerns about shipping the highly lethal arms to the war-torn country.
But in a response to DailyMail.com, Sullivan dismissed claims that the 31-nation military alliance was fractured over its backing of the Ukrainian military.
‘I would say rumors of the death of NATO’s unity were greatly exaggerated,’ he said. ‘Vladimir Putin has been counting on the West to crack, NATO to crack and the transatlantic alliance to crack and he has been disappointed with every turn.’
The Russian tyrant will be ‘very much disappointed’ by what emerges from the two-day meeting in Lithuania, Sullivan added.
And in a clear sign that tensions were on the rise, Russian ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov accused Washington of plotting ‘confrontation’ with Moscow.
‘Everything is being done to prepare domestic public opinion for the approval of the anti-Russian decisions that will be made in Vilnius in the coming days,’ he was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency, a Kremlin mouthpiece.