Erdogan seeks consensus with Trump on regional issues

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sees the presidency of Donald Trump as a way to reboot Turkey-US relations.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

President Erdogan (C) arrives in Ankara on January 26, 2017, after a five-day visit to Africa.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said Turkey is seeking consensus with US President Donald Trump, especially on regional issues. He said Ankara wants to rejuvenate its strategic partnership with the United States in the Middle East.

Erdogan said Turkey-US relations had become strained during the eight years of the Obama administration. 

“We need to improve US-Turkey relations. Despite the two countries both being in NATO, we cannot take joint action in the Middle East,” Erdogan said.

He added that in Syria and Libya, the US-led coalition has failed to deliver on Turkey’s expectations.

The Turkish president said he is hopeful that the recent talks in the Kazakh capital Astana between Syrian regime and opposition goups and each side's allies could lay the groundwork for the next round of UN-sponsored talks in Geneva to try to end the Syrian conflict.

The Geneva talks were originally scheduled for February 8. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday said they were postponed. But the UN said it could not confirm this.

President Erdogan (C) and the delegation he led to Africa en route to Turkey at the end of the five-day visit. (January 26, 2017)

Erdogan was speaking on Thursday en route to Turkey after completing his three country visit to Africa.

He said that he was willing to meet Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss bilateral and regional issues.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who accompanied Erdogan, said it was "understandable" that the PYD did not recognise the Astana consensus as the US, Russia and Iran had different attitudes to the group. Among the groups excluded from the Astana talks were the PYD and Daesh.

Turkey sees the PYD as a Syrian extension of the PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and EU.

TRTWorld and agencies