President Trump And Turkish President Erdogan Give Joint Statement At WH

Trevor Jackson
May 17, 2017

One such problem is scheduled to arrive in Washington on Tuesday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants more investments in Poland and more trade between the countries, according to the Polish prime minister's office.

"To the extent that Erdogan looks like he's being flattered, he's going to love that ... to confirm to the Turks that his referendum victory was free and fair, and he's getting a pat on the back from the USA president".

Trump's approval of plans to supply the Kurdish YPG militia as it advances toward the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa in Syria cast a shadow over the talks between the leaders of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Turkey and the United States.

Shortly before his visit, Erdogan blamed "Obama's men" in the Trump administration for misinforming Trump on the situation in Syria and Iraq.

Last month however, President Donald Trump's administration announced that it would for the first time directly arm the YPG elements of the alliance.

The decision, which the president no doubt has also been pondering since taking office, if not before, has now been made. "It's because Zarrab has all sorts of dirty laundry on Erdogan".

"I hope very much that this mistake will be reversed immediately", he said last week. "We are in contact and our position is open and, I hope, will be understood by our Turkish partners", the Russian leader said.

But the US campaign to drive Islamic State from its self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa in Syria put Trump in a strategic bind. Shortly after the failed coup attempt against Erdogan in July 2016, the Turkish government accused Gülen of orchestrating the ordeal and submitted a formal extradition request to the U.S.

Everyone has a price in Trump's world, including the president himself. And, unlike the former president, he has already indicated that he has little interest in lecturing foreign leaders on democratic values.

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He was quick to place a congratulatory call to the president last month after he narrowly won a flawed referendum on a huge expansion of his powers.

This presumably lowered hackles in Ankara.

To the political and military establishment in the country, the PYD/PKK issue is a direct, strategic and long-term security threat.

Turkey views the main Syrian Kurdish militia as a terrorist group because of its links to Kurdish rebels who have waged a decades-old insurgency against Ankara. In effect, the USA is choosing to support its Kurdish ally in Syria, in defiance of Turkey, whose aim is to prevent the establishment of a quasi-independent Kurdish state there.

On the other hand, the US needs the Syrian Kurds in the war against ISIS.

While it looks like an either/or proposition - either the Turks or the Kurds - it may not have to be. The Pentagon then moved USA troops and armored vehicles along parts of the Syrian border to act as a buffer between Kurdish and Turkish forces. "Turkey is basically fighting the same guys one degree apart from the guys helping the USA liberate Raqqa", he said.

The matter could emerge in Trump's meeting with Erdogan. So why is the US making this change? Just a few weeks ago, Turkish Web users found that they no longer had access to Wikipedia. And by supplying heavy weapons to the YPG, which will remain in their hands after the Raqqa operation is over, Washington has raised the likelihood of a Kurdish state in northern Syria after the war.

McCain expressed support for the president's decision, but noted: "It's very complicated".

Turkey's closest friend in the Trump administration, Gen Flynn was sacked from his national security adviser post within weeks for misleading vice president Mike Pence over his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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