Trump to meet with Turkey’s Erdoğan at White House following tensions


President Trump will meet with his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in Washington next week, ending weeks of uncertainty over whether Erdoğan would make the trip amid tensions over Syria. 

Erdoğan committed to visiting Trump at the White House following a phone call between the two leaders on Wednesday. 

Trump tweeted that the two discussed the situation in Syria, “the ending of hostilities with the Kurds,” “the eradication of terrorism” and the Turkish capture of ISIS fighters. He added that he looked forward to welcoming Erdoğan to the White House.

Erdoğan had been expected to make the trip, but the plans were complicated by the fallout from Trump’s shift in Syria policy last month.

Trump last month abruptly announced he would withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria following a phone call with Erdoğan. The decision paved the way for a Turkish offensive that led to violence and instability in the region.

{mosads}U.S. lawmakers hammered Trump over the decision, accusing him of abandoning U.S. Kurdish allies, giving a green light for the Turkish offensive and clearing the way for a resurgence of ISIS.

Trump imposed sanctions on Turkey only to rescind them days later when the administration negotiated a pause in fighting between Ankara and the Kurds.

But the House last week passed a resolution recognizing and rebuking the Ottoman Empire’s genocide against the Armenian people and a bill to place additional sanctions on Turkey. The Senate is still mulling its own sanctions legislation.

Erdoğan said in recent days that he was considering skipping the Washington visit over the congressional action.

The visit will coincide with the first day of public impeachment hearings in the House, setting the stage for what is likely to be an explosive day in Washington. 

Lawmakers are likely to object to Erdoğan’s presence, creating additional friction. Senators in both parties had urged Trump to rescind Erdoğan’s invite at the peak of tensions last month.

Erdoğan’s last trip to the U.S. to meet with Trump was marred by violence when members of the president’s security team attacked a group of protesters outside the Turkish Embassy. The beatings were filmed by bystanders, and members of Erdoğan’s entourage were later charged.

Tags Donald Trump Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Turkey White House visit

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