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Trump offers high praise for Erdogan despite US-Turkey rifts

Europe
22.09.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
New York (dpa) - US President Donald Trump offered strong praise for Turkish President Recep Tayipp Erdogan in a meeting between the leaders Thursday, despite complicated relations between the two nations.

"He‘s running a very difficult part of the world. He‘s involved very, very strongly and, frankly, he‘s getting very high marks," Trump said ahead of talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. "And he‘s also been working with the United States."

"We have a great friendship as countries. I think we‘re, right now, as close as we have ever been. And a lot of that has to do with the personal relationship."

Erdogan simply said the leaders planned to discuss "current relations" between the nations and "recent regional developments."

Trump did not answer shouted questions from reporters about some of the sticking points between the countries, including the status of the Kurds and Erdogan‘s security personnel‘s involvement in attacking protesters in Washington earlier this year.

Trump‘s remarks also belied long-standing US concerns about Erdogan‘s human rights record, the broader political situation in Turkey and Turkish demands that the United States to handover US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for a failed coup last year.

The US and Turkey are both NATO allies, and in recent years relations have focused heavily on counter-terrorism efforts and the fight against Islamic State militants in neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

 

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