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Trump, Erdogan Vow To Work Together Amid Tensions


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and U.S. President Donald Trump (composite file photo)

U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed in a telephone call to work toward stronger ties and regional security, both leaders' offices say.

The White House on September 9 said Trump "emphasized the common commitment of the United States and Turkey to work together to increase regional stability."

The Turkish presidency said the two leaders noted the strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States and "emphasized the importance of continuing to work together to further strengthen bilateral relations and increase stability in the region."

The call came a day after Erdogan denounced moves by U.S. authorities to charge several Turks with violating financial sanctions against Iran, including former Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan.

Erdogan said the charges were a politically motivated decision against Turkey, a longtime U.S. ally and NATO member.

A variety of disputes have soured relations between the two countries in recent years.

Ankara is angered by the U.S. decision to arm YPG Kurdish fighters in Syria to battle the Islamic State (IS) extremist group. Turkey considers the Kurdish militias "terrorists."

The Turks are also upset by Washington's reluctance to extradite Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in Pennsylvania since 1999. Ankara blames Gulen for last year's failed coup against Erdogan’s government.

Officials said Trump and Erdogan agreed to meet during United Nations General Assembly scheduled for later in September if the opportunity arises.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP
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