- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 21, 2017

President Trump met Thursday with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling him a “friend” despite strained relations between their two countries.

Mr. Trump warmly greeted Mr. Erdogan at the meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. He said the Turkish leader “has become a friend of mine.”

“He’s running a very difficult part of the world,” Mr. Trump said. “Frankly he’s getting high marks. We have a great friendship [and] we are as close as we’ve ever been.”

Mr. Erdogan, speaking through a translator, referred to Mr. Trump as “my dear friend Donald.”

The kind works belied the difficult relationship. 

Mr. Trump was put on the spot after Turkish security officials were involved in a street fight with protesters during a visit to Washington in May.

Turkey, a NATO ally, also fiercely objected to the U.S. arming Kurdish militia fighting Islamic State militants in Syria. Turkey considers the Kurds to be terrorists.

 

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