Trump calls Erdogan friend: "Armenian genocide", Erbil "referendum" issues solved, S-400 on agenda
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 22
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
US President Donald Trump has called his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan a friend following the recent meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Moreover, the US and Turkish presidents showed unanimity on such a principled issue for Ankara as the independence referendum in Erbil city of Iraq’s Kurdish Autonomous Region.
"Both leaders have confirmed that they dismiss the referendum in Erbil, scheduled for September 25”, the White House said in a message. “The sides also confirmed that if the referendum is held, it will have serious consequences."
“The leaders called for launching intensive negotiations on all available issues,” the message said. “The US and Turkey are ready to accept and support these negotiations."
Meanwhile, Ankara has feared that Washington may make a decision to support the creation of "independent Kurdistan".
Washington's support for the Kurdish forces fighting with the Islamic State terrorist organization (IS, ISIL, Daesh) in Syria aroused Turkey’s suspicions that Washington indirectly supports the separatist tendencies among the Kurds.
The clear position of the White House, which is categorically against the "referendum", will undoubtedly bring a positive note to the US-Turkey relations.
Strengthening of relations with the US plays an important role for Turkey today, taking into account its tough relations with Europe. Moreover, this meeting became an important message for the Armenian diaspora in the US.
Alas, Armenia’s hopes that the US incumbent president will recognize the so-called genocide have become pointless. It is clear that President Trump will not spoil relations with Ankara because of the Armenians.
Of course, there are also problematic issues in the Turkey-US bilateral relations.
During President Erdogan's state visit to the US in May 2017, he put forward a key demand for Washington to extradite Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of organizing a military coup attempt in July 2016.
However, nothing has changed following the leaders’ meeting and apparently, no promises about Gulen’s extradition were made to Erdogan. In any case, none of the sides voiced that.
As far as the purchase of S-400 is concerned, frankly speaking, Turkey has not reassured the US concerning its intent to purchase Russian S-400 Triumph air defense system. This issue has already caused a wave of outrage in the US.
Member of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Democrat Ben Cardin called on the White House to impose sanctions on Turkey, as, in his opinion, by these actions Turkey violates the package of sanctions against Russia adopted by the US Congress and signed by the US president on August 2.
Apparently, Ankara did not make any concessions to the US over the purchase of S-400 Triumph system. At that meeting, both presidents adhered to their own opinions, by stressing friendly relations and willingness for cooperation without touching upon the principal issues for each side.