Anti-Semitic Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday wished U.S. president Joe Biden "the best of luck" in the 2024 presidential election.
"Now you are getting prepared for the forthcoming elections," Erdoğan told Biden through a translator, "and with the forthcoming elections I would like to take this opportunity to also wish you the best of luck."
"Thank you very much," Biden responded. "I look forward to meeting with you the next five years."
Erdoğan and Biden are meeting in Lithuania as part of a NATO summit, during which the Turkish president agreed to advance Sweden's bid to join the organization. After Erdoğan agreed to the move, the Biden administration announced it would send F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, as Erdoğan had requested.
Biden's embrace of Erdoğan comes as the Turkish president faces extensive criticism for his authoritarianism and anti-Semitism. He has long suppressed dissent in Turkey, cracking down on speech and arresting journalists. He has also repeatedly gone on anti-Semitic rants. Soon after Biden took office in 2021, Erdoğan declared that Israelis are "murderers" who "kill children" and are "sucking their blood," the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The two presidents have not always been so buddy-buddy. During the 2020 election, Biden called Erdoğan an "autocrat" and expressed support for Turkish opposition leaders. His administration also condemned Erdoğan's 2021 anti-Semitic remarks.
Biden has changed his tune in recent months, however. This year, for example, his State Department announced that it would bow to Erdoğan's wishes and refer to Turkey as "Türkiye."