Trump and Erdogan sit down for first White House meeting

Trump and Erdogan sit down for first White House meeting

Trump and Erdogan sit down for first White House meeting

Trump also said "These are areas where we can rebuild our relationship".

The Turkish government had made clear their objection to USA arming of YPG Kurds, whom Ankara has for long regarded as Syrian branch of the outlawed PKK.

While it remained unknow whether Trump would change course on arming Syrian Kurds, recent response from the US State Department and the Pentagon indicated that a consensus had been reached across the Trump administration to arm Syrian Kurds in the fight against the IS.

Erdogan said Tuesday that cooperation between the USA and Turkey is "very important for the world" and vowed to expand economic and military ties between the two countries.

Such groups will "have no safe quarter", Trump said in the White House's historic Roosevelt Room, where he also commended Turkey's "leadership in seeking an end to the horrific killing in Syria".

"We are calling on President Trump to boldly embrace religious freedom and in face-to-face discussions with President Erdoğan, demand the immediate release of Pastor Brunson", the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, a human rights and pro-life activist who organized the demonstration, said.

Erdogan called the decision to provide US arms "contrary to our strategic relations to the U.S".

As for Gulen, Turkish officials have officially requested his extradition from the United States to stand trial in Turkey.

The YPG, or People's Protection Units, effectively serves as the military of the autonomous Kurdish-led regions that emerged in northern Syria with the retreat of state authority in 2011 that accompanied the outbreak of civil war. Turkey views the militia as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, a separatist group that both Washington and Turkey consider a terrorist organization.

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"Right now there are certain moves in the United States coming from the past, such as the weapons assistance to the YPG", Erdogan told reporters at Ankara Airport on Friday, according to Reuters.

All Trump's interactions with Erdogan are overshadowed by his family's business holdings in the country.

"They only have different names", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said recently.

President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prepare to have lunch in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Erdogan blames Gulen supporters for a failed coup attempt last July and has conducted a crackdown on them, drawing criticism from Washington.

During his joint press conference with Trump, Erdogan stressed that militant groups like the PKK and YPG "will never be accepted".

Erdogan's government is also demanding that the US government extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric and political refugee who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since the 1990s.

The White House said Trump "raised the incarceration of Pastor Andrew Brunson and asked that the Turkish Government expeditiously return him to the United States". Gulen has repeatedly denied involvement, and did so again in a Tuesday Washington Post op-ed.

Police officials reported that nine people were hurt and two others were arrested.

"This is exactly the type of violence you see in Ankara and they are exporting it here".

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