Turkey to ‘intensify diplomacy’ with US after Trump enters White House
Erdinç Çelikkan - ANKARA
AFP photoAnkara is planning to engage in more intense diplomacy with the U.S. under Donald Trump’s incoming administration, amid news that a Turkish presidential delegation is set to visit Washington D.C. in February to contact the new administration.
President-elect Trump will take over the presidency from Barack Obama on Jan. 20, heralding a new and uncertain era in U.S. ties with the international community.
Senior Turkish presidential sources say Ankara wants to move fast to catch Trump’s ear, with a delegation composed of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s foreign policy advisers paying a visit to Washington in February.
Among issues set to be raised by the delegation are the Turkey-U.S. bilateral relationship, regional issues, the joint fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and disagreements over the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The delegation also plans to discuss Turkey’s ongoing cross-border operation into Syria, the Euphrates Shied Operation, as well as wider developments in Iraq and Syria.
The Turkish government’s struggle against the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) and its demand for the extradition of Pennsylvania-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen is also set to be on the agenda.
Ankara has already conveyed its message to the U.S. that it has two main demands from the new administration: One is ending its support to the PYD and the other is the extradition of Gülen.
The delegation plans to take the pulse of White House on these issues ahead of President Erdoğan’s planned visit to Washington in the spring.