Hour-long meeting expected to cover range of sometimes contentious issues.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday met with U.S. President Donald Trump in New York, in a highly anticipated meeting between the two leaders.
"We are going to conduct a bilateral meeting with my dear friend Donald, as well as a discussion between the delegations," Erdogan said ahead of the meeting on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly. "I would like to thank you once again for this opportunity,” he added.
Trump had high praise for his Turkish counterpart and said it was a “great honor and privilege -- because he’s become a friend of mine,” as the two men made brief remarks to reporters. "He’s running a very difficult part of the world. He’s involved very, very strongly and, frankly, he’s getting very high marks. And he’s also been working with the United States."
No official agenda for the meeting was released but a number of topics were expected to be discussed, including issues that have strained relations between the two NATO allies.
American support for groups it believes are important to the fight against Daesh in Syria but which Turkey have labeled as terror outfits has helped to exacerbate friction.
Trump and Erdogan would presumably have smoother talks regarding the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and the rising global tensions regarding North Korea because of that country’s nuclear and missile tests in defiance of the international community.
One major issue sure to be on Erdogan’s mind is the extradition of Fetullah Gulen -- leader of the FETO terror network that is accused of organizing a deadly coup attempt in Turkey in 2016.
Ankara has requested he be extradited to face charges in Turkey.
The Justice Department continues to process the trove of evidence sent by the Turkish government.
Erdogan concludes his four-day New York trip Thursday.