What does Turkey expect from new US leadership?

What does Turkey expect from new US leadership?

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 10

By Orkhan Quluzade – Trend:

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay an official visit to the United States on May 16-17. During the visit, Erdogan is expected to have his first face-to-face meeting with new US President Donald Trump.

The main topic of will be not only bilateral relations, but also regional issues, and the main focus will be on resolving the Syrian crisis.

Expert on international relations, correspondent of Turkey’s Sabah newspaper in Washington Ragib Soylu believes that Ankara particularly expects positive development of bilateral relations from the new US leadership.

“Trump himself supports the establishment of good relations with President Erdogan. The fact that Trump, immediately after the referendum in Turkey conveyed his congratulations to Erdogan by phone, is important,” Soylu told Trend.

According him, the most important topics that are expected to be discussed by Trump and Erdogan will be related to the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, who resides in the US, and is accused of involvement in the July military coup attempt in Turkey. Meanwhile, the issue of US cooperation with the Democratic Union Party (PYD, Syria), which is considered by Ankara as a terrorist organization, will also be touched upon.

The US, especially the Pentagon, believes that the PYD’s participation in the operation for liberation of the Syrian city of Raqqa, which is considered the main reference point of the Islamic State terrorist group (aka IS, ISIL, ISIS or Daesh), is necessary, according to Soylu.

Washington hasn’t yet made a final decision on this issue, but all actions of the US show that this plan will be implemented, he added.

According to Soylu, the issue of Gulen’s extradition is a protracted legal process.

“Considering this, one shouldn’t expect serious progress in resolving these two issues. However, Washington and Ankara can reach a compromise on the Syrian issue, since Ankara has become very satisfied with the recent US operation against the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,” noted the expert.

Under President Trump’s order, the US military attacked a Syria-government airfield with 59 Tomahawk missiles in April 2017. The missiles targeted the Shayrat air base near Homs, and came in response to a chemical weapons attack.

Earlier, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey supports the launch of missile attack by the US Navy on the Syrian air base.

Syria has been suffering from an armed conflict since March 2011, which, according to the UN, has claimed over 500,000 lives.

Militants from various armed groups are confronting the Syrian government troops. The IS, YPG and PYD are the most active terrorist groups in Syria.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @o_quluzade

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