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Principale » Amid Controversy, Trump Welcomes Turkey's Erdogan to the WH

Amid Controversy, Trump Welcomes Turkey's Erdogan to the WH

17 Mai 2017

Nine people were hurt, including one seriously, and two were arrested when a fight reportedly broke out between opposing groups of protesters outside the Turkish embassy in Washington, DC.

Erdogan on Tuesday praised Trump for the "legendary triumph" he had achieved in the election and declared that his first meeting with the new president would be a "historical turn of tide" in the Turkey-U.S. relationship.

Seen as the most effective group in the fight against ISIS, the YPG is part of the broader Syrian Democratic Forces, a multi-ethnic force that is backed by the US and its coalition.

At a time of strained relations between the United States and Turkey, Erdogan was in Washington to meet Trump and discuss cooperation in fighting terrorism, as well as building economic and trade ties.

"We condemn Turkey's violence against peaceful Armenian, Assyrian, Kurdish, Greek, Yezidi, and progressive Turkish protesters in Washington DC today", the Armenian Youth Federation said in a statement.

Trump and Erdogan, both leaders of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member-states, promised to continue to work together in the fight against ISIS and toward resolving the Syrian civil war.

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"We've had a great relationship and we will make it even better", Trump said in their joint appearance. "The US support for the Raqqa operation will continue".

The altercation outside the ambassador's residence occurred hours after the Trump-Erdogan meeting.

Erdogan called the decision to provide US arms "contrary to our strategic relations to the U.S". "And we should never allow those groups to manipulate the religious structure and the ethnic structure of the region making terrorism as a pretext or an excuse", he added.

Mr Erdogan also said he had pressed the United States to extradite cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom he blames for the failed coup against him last July.

While Trump explicitly called out the PKK and promised they would have "no safe quarter", there has been no indication from the White House that the US will withdraw support for the YPG. A firm owned by Mr Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, received more than $500,000 during the election campaign, initially undisclosed, for work meant to discredit an Erdogan political rival. The U.S. and the European Union agree with Turkey that the group of Kurds in Turkey known as the PKK are indeed terrorists, and the Trump administration has sought to ease Turkish worries that the weapons provided to Kurds in Syria would not end up in the hands of the Turkish Kurds.

The visit is further complicated by Turkey's calls for the United States to take steps to extradite Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. Erdogan blames Gulen supporters for the attempted coup.