Trump open to meeting with Erdogan: White House

  25 December 2018    Read: 1167
Trump open to meeting with Erdogan: White House

U.S. President Donald Trump is "open to a potential meeting in the future" with his Turkish counterpart, the White House said Monday, Anadolu Agency reports. 

Earlier in the day, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Trump had accepted an invitation from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Turkey in 2019 during a phone call Sunday.

"Now we will work on the date," Kalin said at a press conference in Ankara.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley noted in the statement "nothing definite is being planned".

Sunday's "long and productive" phone conversation between the two leaders tackled the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.

"We discussed ISIS, our mutual involvement in Syria, & the slow & highly coordinated pullout of U.S. troops from the area. After many years, they are coming home," Trump said on Twitter, using an alternate name for Daesh.

Trump announced plans last Wednesday to withdraw roughly 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria following a phone call with Erdogan on Dec. 14 in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination on the war-torn country.

The withdrawal comes on the eve of a possible Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria against the YPG/PKK terrorist group. Since 2016, Ankara has carried out two similar military operations in northern Syria.

The Turkish president last visited the White House in May 2017 and held a 50-minute-long meeting with his American counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina in early December.


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