US President Trump, Turkey’s Erdogan pledge to defeat ISIL

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US President Trump, Turkey's Erdogan pledge to defeat ISIL

Can they find common ground? That is the big question as U.S. President Donald Trump hosts Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the first time at the White House on Tuesday.

Trump is trying to get Turkey onboard with his policy on Syria. But the Turkish president is not happy with some of the latest actions by Washington.

CGTN’s Daniel Ryntjes reports.
Follow Daniel Ryntjes on Twitter @danielryntjes

US President Trump, Turkey's Erdogan pledge to defeat ISIL

US President Trump, Turkey's Erdogan pledge to defeat ISIL

Can they find common ground? That is the big question as U.S. President Donald Trump hosts Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the first time at the White House. CGTN's Daniel Ryntjes reports.
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The Turkish President is making it clear to U.S. President Donald Trump that he won’t accept any U.S. support of Kurdish fighters.

“Taking the YPG and PYD into consideration in the region will never be accepted and it’s going to be against a global agreement that we have reached,” Erdogan said at a joint press conference on Tuesday.

The Kurdish fighters have been effective at pushing ISIL out of thousands of square kilometers of territory in Iraq and Syria. In the process they have come close to some Turkish territory.

That’s prompted Turkey to launch attacks into Syria targeting the Kurdish fighters. The Trump administration announced that it would provide a shipment of arms to the Kurdish fighters. But President Trump did reiterate the longstanding U.S. position that the U.S. will continue to regard the Kurdish group based in Turkey, the PKK, as a terrorist entity.

“We support Turkey in the first fight against terror and terror groups like ISIL and the PKK and ensure they have no safe quarter, the terror groups,” President Trump said.

Some analysts said the U.S. needs to maintain this separation between the PKK in Turkey and the Kurdish groups fighting in Iraq and Syria so that they can further the goal of defeating ISIL in places like Raqqa.

Despite this difficult balancing act on Syria, the two leaders pledged to continue expanding their working relationship with the goal of defeating ISIL and other terrorist entities.