Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

US, Turkish leaders put best face on ties amid tensions

US, Turkish leaders put best face on ties amid tensions

Referring to the the Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, he said, it is absolutely unacceptable to take the YPG into consideration as partners in the region and never allow those groups who want to change the ethnic or religious structures in the region to use terrorism as a pretext. He stressed that the United States would "offer our support to Turkey" in its fight against terrorism and that they would "reinvigorate our trade and commercial ties".

Mr Erdogan said the USA shouldn't work with the YPG Kurdish militia, a group Turkey considers a terrorist organisation, that Mr Trump plans to arm.

Erdoğan met with US President Donald Trump in a scheduled gathering on Tuesday.

The presidents of the United States and Turkey vowed Tuesday to fix a relationship battered by years of disputes over Syria's civil war and its various fighting groups, even as they broached a new disagreement over US plans to arm Kurdish fighters.

"Of course Mr Trump's victory has led to an awakening of new expectations for Turkey and the region it is in". "We also appreciate Turkey's leadership in seeking an end to the horrific killing in Syria".

Despite Trump's greeting to the Turkish leader, the relationship has been strained by the United States' refusal to extradite a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania, whom Erdogan blames for orchestrating a July coup attempt against him.

The Turkish president said he has been frank in discussing his concerns over Gulen's extradition.

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"That's the main ask", said Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish research program at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy.

The Pentagon said last week the US would begin directly arming the YPG.

"Erdogan's administration, however, considers the Syrian Kurds terrorists due to their ties to Turkish Kurds who have been waging an insurgency to create an independent state for the past three decades".

The Washington Post reports: "Erdogan is staying at Blair House across from the White House during his visit, and was apparently not at the embassy during the demonstration".

According to witnesses, a brawl erupted when the Turkish president's security detail attacked protesters carrying the flag of the Kurdish PYD party outside the ambassador's residence.

At least nine people were injured when a protest outside the Turkish embassy in Washington turned violent on Tuesday.

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