Trump reiterates US support for Turkey in call with Erdoğan
WASHINGTON/ANKARA – Reuters
AP photoU.S. President Donald Trump reiterated support for Turkey “as a strategic partner and NATO ally” during a phone call with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 7, the offices of both leaders said.
Trump also spoke about the two countries’ “shared commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms” and welcomed Turkey’s contributions to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the White House said in a statement.
The two leaders emphasized that Turkey and the United States were friends and allies, a statement from the Turkish Presidency said.
Turkey, a NATO member, is a powerful player in the region but Erdoğan’s relations with former U.S. President Barack Obama, as well as with western Europe, have at times strained.
Ankara has been frustrated by Washington’s reluctance to hand over the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt.
The two NATO allies are also at odds over U.S. support for the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara regards as a terrorist organization.
There was no specific mention of the key sticking points in both readouts.