Trump to Meet Turkey’s Erdogan at White House

November 7, 2019 Updated: November 7, 2019

President Donald Trump announced this week he will be meeting his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Washington on Nov. 13.

Trump said on Twitter the pair had a “very good” phone call during which they discussed bilateral issues such as Turkey’s “border with Syria, the eradication of terrorism, the ending of hostilities with the Kurds,” among other topics.

“He [Erdogan] informed me that they have captured numerous ISIS fighters that were reported to have escaped during the conflict – including a wife and sister of terrorist killer al Baghdadi….” Trump wrote on Nov. 6.

“Look forward to seeing President Erdogan next Wednesday, November 13th at the @WhiteHouse!”

According to a statement from Erdogan’s office, the leaders “reconfirmed that they will meet in Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 13, on President Trump’s invitation,” DW reported.

The Turkish leader’s visit to the United States follows a new phase in relations between the two countries over the Syrian conflict. Last month, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a bipartisan measure to impose “severe sanctions” on Turkey following its invasion of northern Syria, as Trump called for U.S. troops to pull out from the region.

The proposed sanctions have since been rescinded.

Turkey on Oct. 9 launched a cross-border offensive with Syrian rebels against Kurdish YPG fighters and, after seizing control of a 75-mile swathe of territory, reached a deal with the United States to keep them out of that area.

In a press conference on Nov. 7, Erdogan said the United States had so far failed to fulfill its pledge to remove the Kurdish militia from the Syrian border region, and that their agreement would be a point of discussion for when they meet on Nov. 13.

“While we hold these talks, those who promised us that the YPG … would withdraw from here within 120 hours have not achieved this,” Erdogan said, referring to a deadline set in last month’s agreement.

Turkish sources, however, say Trump and Erdogan have a strong bond.

Turkey has already been suspended from the F-35 fighter jet program in which it was both joint producer and customer.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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