Burns: ’Disappointing’ that Trump did not discuss Hagia Sophia with Erdogan


US President Donald Trump failed to raise the issue of Hagia Sophia’s reconversion into a mosque in his call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Ambassador Nicholas Burns, who is a foreign policy advisor for former Vice President Joe Biden's 2020 campaign.

“It is very disappointing that President Trump apparently did not even raise the issue with President Erdogan in their recent phone call. That is a major missed opportunity,” he told Kathimerini.

At the same time, he noted that Biden’s statement “was right and forceful.”

“He criticized the Turkish decision and urged President Erdogan to reverse it in order to secure ‘equal access for all’. I hope Greeks and the Greek community worldwide, including in the US, know  how important a statement this is.”

Burns served as US ambassador in Athens between 1997 and 2001, US ambassador to NATO (2001-05) and under secretary of state for political affairs (2005-08).