Turkish president announces planned meeting with Donald Trump in May
The Barack Obama administration deceived Turkey over cooperation against PKK terrorist organization, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Wednesday, calling for stronger ties with U.S. President Donald Trump.
"With President Obama, we had a mutual agreement about the PKK -- but Obama deceived us. I don't believe the Trump administration will do the same," Erdogan told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview.
Erdogan criticized Obama for failing to abide by an agreement between the two countries to fight against terrorist organizations.
Both the U.S. and Turkey designate the PKK a terror group. Ankara says the PYD and its armed wing YPG are the PKK's Syrian offshoots, while Washington has cooperated extensively with the YPG in fight against Daesh, which has vexed Turkey.
The Turkish president's latest remarks followed his earlier statements on Wednesday that "The way President Trump is approaching matters is encouraging, makes us happy."
Erdogan also said he was planning to meet his U.S. counterpart next month, ahead of a NATO meeting.
President Trump, who came to power in January following an eight-year Obama tenure, called Monday to congratulate Erdogan on Sunday's historic referendum, in which Turkish voters approved changes to the country’s constitution that would usher in an executive presidency.
"The most important point we discussed was about developments in Syria and Iraq. We plan to meet in May and we will discuss things further face to face," Erdogan said of the phone call.
According to Turkish presidential sources, the leaders discussed cooperation on Syria and against terrorism as well as the Bashar al-Assad regime's chemical attack in Khan Sheikhun, Idlib earlier this month that killed as many as 100 civilians.
Trump also thanked Turkey for supporting for U.S. missile strikes on an Assad regime air base in retaliation for the chemical attack, and both men stressed the need for cooperation in the fight against terror groups, including Daesh.