Erdogan-Trump talks: Regional cooperation high on agenda

Author: MENEKSE TOKYAYSat, 2017-09-23 03:00ID: 1506105281380595600ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with his US counterpart Donald Trump in New York on Thursday.
Ankara said the leaders “agreed to enhance cooperation to resolve regional issues and continue the fight against all terror groups with determination.”
They also reiterated their opposition to Iraqi Kurdistan’s planned independence referendum on Monday, expressing concern about potentially “serious consequences.”
Ahead of the meeting, Trump said the two countries were “close as they have ever been,” and praised Erdogan for “running a very difficult part of the world” and “getting high marks.”
Megan Gisclon, managing editor of the Istanbul Policy Center, said the meeting exhibited the two leaders’ commitment to maintaining bilateral ties, and highlighted their common stance against the referendum.
But “while the US opposes it primarily because it sees the breakup of Iraq as a threat to the ongoing battle against Daesh, Turkey sees the referendum as a possible inspiration to its own Kurdish separatist movements, even if Kurdish aspirations for separatism have largely diminished over the years,” she told Arab News.
However, Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, Ankara office director of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, said that based on statements from Trump and Erdogan, the meeting produced nothing except a personal rapport as they publicly praised each other.
Nonetheless, “this is certainly a gain for Erdogan, who is increasingly isolated in the West,” Unluhisarcikli told Arab News.
“Time will tell whether this rapport between the two presidents will bear real fruit for US-Turkish cooperation.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit Ankara on Sept. 28 for talks with Erdogan on a wide range of topics, including the Syrian conflict and Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
Main category: Middle-EastTags: Recep Tayyip ErdoganDonald TrumpKurdistanIstanbul Policy Centerrelated_nodes: Erdogan and Trump reaffirm strategic partnershipTurkey’s Erdogan to discuss northern Iraq vote with Iraqi PMMilitary drills show Erdogan’s stance before Kurdish independence vote

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