U.S. President Donald Trump said late Thursday ahead of a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that Turkey and the United States are "as closest as they have ever been."


"As countries, we are as closest we have ever been," he said.

Turkey, US closest they have ever been, Trump says ahead of Erdoğan meeting

Speaking during a press conference ahead of the meeting, the Republican leader praised the Turkish president for "running a very difficult part of the world" and "getting high marks."

"It is a great honor for me to introduce you President Erdoğan of Turkey, he has become a friend of mine," he said.

"He is running a very very difficult part of the world. He has evolved very strongly, and frankly he is getting high marks," he added.

"We have a great friendship, and Mr. Erdoğan has been working together with the United States," he added.

Erdoğan responded to Trump's words, saying that he is a "dear friend."

"I would like to thank my dear friend Donald for hosting us hear today. We will conduct discussions on our bilateral relations and regional developments," he added.

Erdoğan has been in United States to attend the United Nations General Assembly.