The Turkish and US presidents spoke by phone on Monday evening. The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and Syria.

US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium on July 11, 2018.
US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium on July 11, 2018. (Reuters)

Turkey has no problem with Kurds and aims to fight terror groups threatening national security, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a phone call with his US counterpart on Monday.

A statement from the Turkish presidency said Erdogan and US President Donald Trump discussed the idea of a terror-free safe zone in Syria's northern region.

Turkey backs Trump's decision on the withdrawal of US forces from Syria, Erdogan said, extending all kinds of support in this regard.

The two leaders agreed to advance bilateral economic relations.

TRT World spoke with Turkish political analyst Yusuf Erim on Erdogan-Trump phone conversation, who said, "It was definitely a needed phone call after this morning's Twitter rant by president of the US."

Manbij roadmap

Erdogan and Trump also emphasised on need to complete roadmap on Syria's Manbij and give no opportunity to elements that want to block US withdrawal, the Turkish presidency said. 

The White House confirmed the phone conversation between Trump and Erdogan saying, Trump expressed desire to work with Erdogan on Turkey's security concerns in northeast Syria.

The phone call came after Trump's tweet saying the US would "devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds," conflating "Kurds" with the terrorist PKK/YPG, a confusion that Turkey has repeatedly criticised.

After their phone call, Trump tweeted that he told President Erdogan that he saw "great potential to substantially expand" economic development between the United States and Turkey.

Speaking with TRT World, Egemen Bagis, former Turkish minister of EU affairs said, "Turkey doesn't have anything against Kurds… We've protected the Kurds from Saddam, we've protected the Kurds from Assad, and we will continue to protect them from other dictators and atrocities."

Source: AA