Turkey, US ties at its best ever: Trump
NEW YORKRelations between Turkey and the United States are “the closest we’ve ever been,” U.S. President Donald Trump has said, as he praised President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for “running a very difficult part of the world.”
Meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 21, Trump hailed Erdoğan’s leadership in Turkey and said Erdoğan “has become a friend of mine.”
“I think now we’re as close as we’ve ever been,” Trump said.
At the start of their meeting in New York, Trump heaped praise on Erdoğan, saying that “he’s getting very high marks.”
“He’s running a very difficult part of the world. Frankly, he’s getting high marks,” Trump added.
Trump’s comments come in stark contrast to multiple disputes between Washington and Ankara.
Earlier this week the U.S. government froze arms sales to Erdoğan’s bodyguards over a brawl involving Erdoğan’s security detail.
Turkish security officials were involved in street fighting with protesters during Erdoğan’s visit to Washington in May.
Eleven people were hurt in what Washington’s police chief described as a “brutal attack” on peaceful demonstrators outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence. Ankara blamed the violence on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
For his part, meanwhile, Erdoğan referred to Trump as “my friend, Donald.”
A statement from the Turkish presidency was released after the meeting, which said that the two leaders “agreed to enhance cooperation to resolve regional issues and continue the fight against all terror groups with determination.”
They also expressed their objection to the planned Sept. 25 independence referendum by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, stressing that such a move would have “serious consequences,” the statement added.