Trump, Erdogan speak over telephone about trade and Syria situation

US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone on Wednesday on a range of issues, including trade and the situation in Syria's Idlib. (AFP/File Photos)
Updated 29 August 2019

Trump, Erdogan speak over telephone about trade and Syria situation

  • Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported the call on Wednesday
  • White House confirmed trade and Idlib situation were discussed

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone on Wednesday on a range of issues, including trade and the humanitarian situation in Idlib, Syria, the White House said on Thursday.

Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported the call on Wednesday, saying the two leaders agreed to cooperate to protect civilians in the Idlib region after jets believed to be Syrian or Russian struck a rebel-held city in northwest Syria.

On Thursday, Erdogan vowed Turkey would not allow the US to delay the establishment of a 'safe zone' in northern Syria.

Ankara and Washington earlier this month agreed after difficult talks to set up a buffer zone between the Turkish border and Syrian areas controlled by the US-backed Kurdish YPG militia.

The NATO allies agreed to set up a joint operations centre which Turkey said at the weekend was at full capacity.

"We will never allow a delay similar to that in Manbij. The process should advance swiftly," Erdogan said, according to CNN Turk broadcaster.

Turkey and the US in May last year agreed a road map including the withdrawal of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij in northern Syria.


Turkey says ready to send troops to back Libya unity govt

Updated 22 min 1 sec ago

Turkey says ready to send troops to back Libya unity govt

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday he was ready to send troops to Libya if requested by the internationally recognised government in Tripoli.
"On the issue of sending soldiers... If Libya makes such a request from us, we can send our personnel there, especially after striking the military security agreement," he said in a televised appearance.
Turkey signed a military agreement last month with Libya's Government of National Accord, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.
It came after media reports that Russia had sent 200 mercenaries to support Libya's military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is seeking to unseat the Tripoli-based government.
Russia has denied the reports, but Erdogan said: "There is a security company from Russia (in Libya) called Wagner. This company sent its security staff there."
The Wagner Group is a shadowy private security firm and thousands of its security contractors are believed to be in foreign conflicts from Syria to Ukraine to the Central African Republic.
At the same time as the military deal, Turkey also signed a controversial maritime jurisdiction agreement with Sarraj, giving sweeping rights for Turkey to explore for oil in the Mediterranean.
"With the new line drawn (by the maritime agreement), we will take steps to protect the interests of Libya, Turkey and the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus). This is in line with international law," he said.
The deal has been staunchly opposed by Greece, Cyprus and their European partners which says it violates the islands' maritime rights.