President Joe Biden had a brief, unannounced meeting on Tuesday with Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to Turkish media and the country’s government.
The two men met on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Bali, Indonesia.
Turkish media posted pictures of them together on Twitter, but the White House did not announce the meeting and US journalists accompanying Biden to the G20 weren’t allowed to cover it.
Erdogan has periodically frustrated the US and Turkey’s other NATO allies. He has cultivated close ties with Moscow, buying a Russian air defense system over NATO objections.
He has recently blocked the admission of Sweden and Finland to the alliance over concerns about US and European support for Kurdish militants that Ankara regards as terrorists.
Turkey’s relationship with the US was further strained after a bombing in Istanbul on Sunday that Erdogan’s government blamed on the Kurdish group PKK.
On Monday, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said that a message of condolence from the US over the bombing should be viewed as “the murderer returning to the crime scene”.
The US has designated the PKK a terrorist organization, and maintains that the Kurdish YPG group it partners with in Syria isn’t affiliated with the group.