Turkey's president arrives in Washington for talks

Turkey's president arrives in Washington for talks

His words failed to placate members of Congress and others who accuse Turkish-backed forces of killing Kurdish civilians and causing a humanitarian crisis in the incursion, which prompted the US last month to hurriedly evacuate a small number of American troops from near the Syria-Turkey border.

Turkey has said it captured and detained several members of the family of the slain Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, including one of his wives, his sister and a daughter.

The US media interpreted the visit as a "win-win" situation for Mr Erdogan who would, at the least, be able to tell his people that he was welcomed as a friend at the White House despite ignoring US pleas on Syria.

Turkey also has turned increasingly toward Russian Federation, recently buying military equipment - the S-400 surface-to-air missile system - from Moscow, which experts say may not be compatible with equipment North Atlantic Treaty Organisation already uses.

Turkey and the United States have been at loggerheads over the purchase of the S-400 system, which the United States says is not compatible with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defenses and poses a threat to Lockheed Martin's F-35 "stealth" fighter jet. It is concerned that Turkey, a bulwark against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, is deepening ties with Moscow at the expense of its partnership with the United States. Turkey received the first S-400 in a July shipment despite U.S. concerns that the system's radar could be used to spy on United States military hardware.

The two leaders are scheduled to meet in Washington on Wednesday.

"Due to a whole variety of factors over the past five or so years, this relationship has slipped to ... where there are a number of issues where we seem to be at loggerheads", the official said. Erdogan's plan to buy Russian military planes itself came as a response to the country being pushed out of the F-35 fighter jet program. "We are in agreement to further Turkish-American ties on a healthy ground". Last week, former national security adviser John Bolton surprised a Miami gathering of hedge fund managers when he said he thought Trump's decisions on Turkey are motivated by personal relationships or financial interests.

The British woman Tooba Gondal is also believed to be in Turkish custody, having escaped a Kurdish-run detention centre in the chaos caused by Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held Syria last month. "We think we can bring trade up very quickly to about $100 billion between our countries".

In an Oval Office meeting before their news conference, Mr. Trump thanked Erdogan, and emphasized that the USA wants to shift its focus to its own borders, not others' borders.

Turkey reached truce agreements with Russian Federation and the United States last month that halted the incursion and forced Kurdish fighters to retreat from Turkey's southern border. Just weeks ago, President Trump moved US troops out of the way of a Turkish invasion of Syria.

Turkey has not given total numbers and nationalities of those it is planning to send home, or details on how such a policy will work, particularly regarding stateless individuals.

"The Kurds have risked a lot to stand with America and fight our shared enemy and there is very real concern that we do not want to see Turkey engaged in offensive actions against the Kurds", US Senator Ted Cruz said on Wednesday. Turkey launched military offensive against Kurdish YPG forces.

Now the leaders of these two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies meet face to face.

A day ago, both senior administration officials and a State Department official in separate briefings told reporters that Washington had no intention of ending its partnership with the SDF.

Demonstration: In front of the White House, protesters denounced Erdogan's visit and urged Trump to protect Kurds threatened by Turkey's incursion in Syria.

At his speech later, he called the House resolution as "shameful" and "against historical realities".

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