Erdogan Seeking 'New Beginning' With US After Trump's Decision to Arm Kurds

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Trump is to welcome President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on an official visit to the USA on May 16.

The US and Russian Federation are located geographically far away from the threats coming from north Syria and therefore, their actions will differ from the ones undertaken by Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

Turkey has been angered by a USA decision to provide arms to Syrian Kurdish fighters that it considers terrorists. Turkey's concerns in regards to the empowerment of a terrorist network along its border were not heeded by the US administration.

This comes three days after President Trump approved a plan to arm Syrian Kurds so they can participate in the battle to retake Syria's northern province of Raqqa from the Islamic State (IS) group.

Mattis acknowledged concerns of the Turkish government in Ankara that weapons could end up in the hands of the Kurdish militants in Turkey, known as the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or the PKK. Two days ago, Erdogan said: "We want to believe that our allies will prefer to side with us, not with a terrorist organization", while Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters the US' failure to consider Turkey's interests "will surely have consequences and will yield a negative result for the U.S. as well".

The talks lasted for about half an hour and became the highest level contacts between the two countries since Washington announced its plans to provide arms to the US -backed Syrian Kurds, also known as the YPG.

"I hope that during the meeting of our president next week with President Donald Trump this issue will be changed to a positive trajectory". Following the attacks, Russian Federation and the United States took steps to avoid further such Turkish actions by showing their presence in Tel Abyad and Afrin, respectively.

In Thursday's talks with Trump's Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Yildirim said he had been assured the U.S. Treasury would start tracking the financial flows of the PKK.

Turkey's direct military participation in Syria, "Operation Euphrates Shield", has produced mixed results in the fight against ISIS, although that may be because Turkey's actual objective was to counter Kurdish influence. Additionally, a video of USA military vehicles seen during a funeral ceremony organized for the people killed in the Turkish airstrikes brought irritation in Ankara (YouTube, April 30). The American government sees it as a secular-minded and valued ally in the fight against ISIL. He was, however, doubtful that Turkey would go as far as denying the U.S. access to an airbase in southeastern Turkey which it uses in the fight against IS. "We don't find it suitable at all for the United States to stand side by side with a terrorist organisation and a terrorist organisation to stand by the U.S", he said on Friday. Last month, Turkish airstrikes hit Kurdish targets in Syria and Iraq, killing 20 YPG fighters at their Syrian headquarters on Qerecox Mountain and five Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in Iraq.

Mattis said he was optimistic that Washington and Ankara would work through tensions. "Turkey knows that the US position is serious". "Unless provided with extensive assurances or compromises, a robust and credible deal, Turkey will respond very harshly". Turkey's prime minister, Binali Yildirim, warned Wednesday that tighter US ties with the YPG could lead to an unspecified "negative result".

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