Erdogan invites Trump to visit Turkey in 2019 – White House

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US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gesture as they talk at the start of the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium on July 11, 2018 (Reuters)

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley noted in a statement that Trump is open to a potential meeting.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invited US President Donald Trump to visit Turkey in 2019, a White House spokesman said on Monday.

“While nothing definite is being planned, the President is open to a potential meeting in the future,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Trump had accepted an invitation from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Turkey in 2019 during a phone call Sunday.

“Now we will work on the date,” Kalin said at a press conference in Ankara.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley noted in the statement “nothing definite is being planned”.

Sunday’s “long and productive” phone conversation between the two leaders tackled the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

“We discussed ISIS (Daesh), our mutual involvement in Syria, & the slow & highly coordinated pullout of US troops from the area. After many years, they are coming home,” Trump said on Twitter.

Trump announced plans last Wednesday to withdraw roughly 2,000 US troops from Syria following a phone call with Erdogan on December 14 in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination on the war-torn country.

The withdrawal comes on the eve of a possible Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria against the YPG/PKK terrorist group. Following the US decision of troops withdrawal, Turkey announced it would be postponing its military operation planned against terrorists in the east of Euphrates in Syria.

Since 2016, Ankara has carried out two similar military operations in northern Syria.

The Turkish president last visited the White House in May 2017 and held a 50-minute-long meeting with his American counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina in early December.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies
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