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Trump, Erdogan meet amid U.S.-Turkey tensions

22 September 2017 [14:13] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

U.S. President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in New York, where Trump praised Erdogan as a friend despite tensions in two countries’ relations over a number of issues.

Trump highly assessed Erdogan’s leadership in Turkey stressing that he “has become a friend of mine.”

“He’s running a very difficult part of the world. He’s involved very, very strongly and, frankly, he’s getting very high marks. And he’s also been working with the United States,” he said.

Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation to resolve regional issues and continue the fight against all terror groups with determination, the Turkish presidency said in a statement.

They also expressed their objection to the independence referendum by the Kurdish Regional Government scheduled for September 25, stressing that such a move would have "serious consequences", the statement added.

The Iraqi government opposes the poll, claiming it will affect the war against Daesh, cause instability and violate the Iraqi Constitution. Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the UN have all backed Baghdad in speaking out against the referendum.

In May, people organized protests against Erdogan’s state visit to the United States. Turkish leader’s security officials tried to disperse the protesters.  However, this resulted in street fight with protesters. As many as 15 Erdogan's guards were charged for attacks on protesters in Washington. Ankara blamed the violence on groups linked to Kurdish militants.

Earlier, Turkish leader said in a PBS interview that he was "very sorry" for the violence in May.

Erdogan informed that he had a telephone talk with U.S. President a week ago. Trump also said he was sorry, and that "he was going to follow up about this issue when [Erdogan and his people] come to the United States within the framework of an official visit."

On Thursday, during his appearance with Erdogan, Trump was asked about the conversation with the Turkish leader, however, he did not respond.

The incident aggravated the already tense relationship between Washington and Ankara. The two countries have clashed over the U.S. support for Kurdish rebels in Syria as well as Turkish demands that the United States extradite Fethullah Gülen, a cleric whom Ankara blames for a military coup attempt of last July.

In addition, Ankara’s rapprochement with Russia and purchase of S-400 missiles become the subject of criticism by the U.S.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/regions/165036.html

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