TRAVELLING

Turkey’s top diplomat to travel to US amid troubled ties

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey and the United States will aim to smooth out a series of disagreements between the NATO allies when the Turkish foreign minister visits Washington this week. But expectations that outstanding issues can be resolved are low.

Mevlut Cavusoglu departs on Tuesday for a meeting on Wednesday with U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken on a rare visit by a top Turkish official. U.S. President Joe Biden ’s administration has kept its distance from Turkey because of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ’s increasingly authoritarian direction and policies curbing rights and freedoms.

Positioned at the crossroads between East and West, Turkey remains strategically important for Washington. Last year, the Turkish government helped broker a crucial agreement between Russia and Ukraine that allowed millions of tons of Ukrainian grain to be transported to world markets, averting a food crisis amid the war.

NATO allies, however, frequently find themselves at odds over a number of issues, with the biggest disputes centering on Turkey’s purchase of Russian-made missiles and American support for Kurdish militants in Syria.

The acquisition of the S-400 air defense system in 2017 led to sanctions and Turkey being removed from the development program for the next-generation F-35 fighter plane. After losing out on the F-35, Ankara is currently trying to restock its F-16 fleet. But the deal faces opposition in Congress.

Cavusoglu sounded confident this week that the deal for the purchase of 40 F-16 jets as well as technology for the update of its existing fleet would overcome congressional hurdles.

“We have reached an agreement with the (Biden) administration, and it is important that the administration has emphasized that the agreement is not only important for Turkey but for NATO as well,” Cavusoglu told reporters. “If the administration stands firm … then there will be no problem.”

U.S.

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TRAVELLING

Turkish foreign minister set to visit the United States this week

Turkey and the United States will aim to smooth out a series of disagreements between the NATO allies when the Turkish foreign minister visits Washington this week. But expectations that outstanding issues can be resolved are low.

Mevlut Cavusoglu departs on Tuesday for a meeting on Wednesday with U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken on a rare visit by a top Turkish official. U.S. President Joe Biden ’s administration has kept its distance from Turkey because of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ’s increasingly authoritarian direction and policies curbing rights and freedoms.

Positioned at the crossroads between East and West, Turkey remains strategically important for Washington. Last year, the Turkish government helped broker a crucial agreement between Russia and Ukraine that allowed millions of tons of Ukrainian grain to be transported to world markets, averting a food crisis amid the war.

NATO allies, however, frequently find themselves at odds over a number of issues, with the biggest disputes centering on Turkey’s purchase of Russian-made missiles and American support for Kurdish militants in Syria.

The acquisition of the S-400 air defense system in 2017 led to sanctions and Turkey being removed from the development program for the next-generation F-35 fighter plane. After losing out on the F-35, Ankara is currently trying to restock its F-16 fleet. But the deal faces opposition in Congress.

PENTAGON ISSUES WARNING AFTER TURKISH AIRSTRIKES THREATEN AMERICAN TROOPS IN SYRIA

Cavusoglu sounded confident this week that the deal for the purchase of 40 F-16 jets as well as technology for the update of its existing fleet would overcome congressional hurdles.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, right, plans to visit the United States this week. Cavusoglu will meet with White House officials in an attempt to smooth over issues the two countries may have.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, right, plans to visit the United States this week. Cavusoglu will meet with White House officials in an attempt to smooth over issues the two countries may have.
(AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru, File)

“We have reached

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TRAVELLING

How to prepare for international travel, 10 tips

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – After sacrificing some of the most enjoyable aspects of life for COVID-related quarantines and social distancing, many in the U.S. are eager to resume one of the activities they love most, traveling overseas.  

According to one report, in 2021, international departures from the U.S. totaled 49.1 million.

But what are some things a person can do in preparation to make their trip as safe and enjoyable as possible?  

The following suggestions may be helpful in this regard:

Study up on the culture

Use Google, YouTube, and online encyclopedias to learn a bit about the country’s history and the day-to-day lives of locals. Some aspects of the culture to pay special attention to are ways they show respect to each other, how to avoid disrespecting anyone in the culture, popular local foods, and upcoming local festivals.

Learn some basic phrases in the local language

While you don’t need to become a fluent speaker, it will be very helpful to learn a few basic terms and questions. A few suggested phrases to start with would be, “My name is___,” “What is your name?” and “I speak English, do you speak English?”   

Protect your health

Look into the area’s overall reputation of the healthcare system and scout out a few hospitals in the cities you will be staying. In addition to this, consult with your doctor to ensure you’re up-to-date on any and all vaccines recommended for those engaging in international travel.

Consider purchasing medical and travel assistance

An article from Chubb states that, “81% of Americans consider 24-hour emergency travel assistance very important.1 Familiarize yourself with your destination’s conditions that could impact your health, such as high altitude or pollution, as well as the types of medical facilities available.”

Prepare documentation to have on hand, and

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