Trump and Turkey’s Erdogan agree to strengthen ties

The discussion came a day after Turkish President Erdogan lashed out at the US for indicting one of his ex-ministers.

10 September 2017, 1:01pm
U.S President Donald Trump welcomes Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
U.S President Donald Trump welcomes Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
US President Donald Trump and Turkey’s Erdogan agreed to continue to work toward strengthening ties and regional security, Erdogan’s office said, a day after he lashed out at US authorities for indicting one of his ex-ministers.

Ties between the United States and its NATO ally have been strained after Washington expressed for the YPG Kurdish fighters in the battle against Islamic State in Syria. Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist group.

“Noting the strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States, the two leaders emphasized the importance of continuing to work together to further strengthen bilateral relations and increase stability in the region,” the Turkish Presidency said in a statement.

The two leaders agreed to meet in New York at the United States General Assembly, scheduled for this month.

The call was notable for its timing, coming a day after Erdogan described a US prosecutor’s indictment against Turkey’s former economy minister as being politically motivated and tantamount to an attack on Ankara.

The former minister, Zafer Caglayan, and the ex-head of a state-owned Turkish bank were charged this week with conspiring to violate Iran sanctions by illegally moving hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. financial system on Tehran’s behalf.

The indictment marked the first time an ex-government member with close ties to Erdogan had been charged in the on-going U.S. investigation, which has strained ties between the two countries.