Erdogan says Turkey hopes to resolve issues with US

Turkey's president says the US decision to arm the YPG dates back to the Obama administration and that the US is still going through a "transition period" and that his meeting next week with Trump in Washington DC will reboot relations.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Turkey's President Erdogan at a news conference at Esenboga International Airport in Ankara, Turkey, May 12, 2017.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said issues with the United States will be largely solved during his US visit next week.

"There is no threat against the US or Russia in this region. There is a threat against us and against the people of this region. If the US wants to contribute to solving this crisis they should do so with Turkey, a powerful country in the region and NATO ally. It looks bad when we see the US alongside a terror group. And it's the same thing with Russia (I also said this to Putin). They [US & Russia] should take the necessary steps with us, not with terrorist groups. I believe issues with the US will largely be solved during this visit" to Washington, Erdogan said.

Top of the agenda is like to be US support for the YPG in Syria, a group linked to the PKK, which Ankara and Washington DC agree is a terrorist organisation.

The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump had approved arming the YPG, or what it called "Kurdish elements" of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Next week Erdogan is due to have his first face-to-face meeting with Trump as US president.

Erdogan said he believes the United States is still going through a "transition period," and that decisions such as arming the YPG date back to policies from the administration of Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.​

TRT World's Nicole Johnson has more from the Turkish capital Ankara.

TRTWorld and agencies