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Erdogan visits Trump amid US-Turkey tensions

posted onNovember 14, 2019
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday (Nov. 14)  at a time of  diplomatic tension between the two NATO allies.

The leaders are  trying to overcome mounting differences ranging from policies towards Syria to Ankara's purchases of the Russian S-400 anti-air system, which Washington says is incompatible with NATO and threatens F-35 fighter jets.

Trump said he had a "wonderful and very productive meeting" with Erdogan. 

"The U.S.-Turkish alliance can be a powerful force for security and stability, not only in the Middle East, but beyond. I look forward to working with you,” Trump said, referring to the Turkish leader.

"In order to achieve progress on other fronts, it is vital that we resolve the issues involving Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system, strengthening our defence partnership," the White House said later in a statement.

Erdogan, for his part, said "we can overcome the tests we are facing, particularly regarding the S-400 system and F-35, only through dialogue," stressing that Ankara is committed to opening a new page with the U.S. in line with their bilateral alliance.  

 

Regarding Syria, Erdogan said that Turkey and the United States can work together to finish Islamic State and bring peace to the war-torn country.

“The most reliable U.S. partner in the region to do this is Turkey,” Turkey's strongman said.

Trump also said that Europe should pay more to cover the costs related to Syrian refugees.

"I think that frankly, Europe should be paying for this to a large extent. As of this moment Turkey's been paying for most of it," Trump said.

The EU already has a refugee deal with Turkey that pledges €6 billion in aid, about half of which has been distributed. Erdogan has repeated threatened to "open the gates" to Europe for refugees.   

With reporting by Anadolu, Reuters and DW