9 hurt, 2 arrested in altercation at Turkish Embassy in DC

Pres. Trump Meets Turkey’s Leader as Tensions Remain High

Pres. Trump Meets Turkey’s Leader as Tensions Remain High

Presidents Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan stood side by side at the White House on Tuesday and promised to strengthen strained ties despite the Turkish leader's stern warning about Washington's arming of a Kurdish militia.

The relationship between the two nations is further strained by the U.S. refusing to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric now living in Pennsylvania.

Mr Trump also "reiterated the commitment of the United States to the security of our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey and the need to work together to confront terrorism in all its forms", the White House said in a statement issued shortly afterwards.

The US State Department, Turkish embassy, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser's office and multiple DC councilmembers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"We should never allow those groups to manipulate the religious structure and the ethnic structure of the region, making terrorism as a pretext or an excuse", he added.

To supply weapons to Kurdish units in Syria is "unacceptable", Turkey's deputy prime minister said in a TV interview.

For its part, Turkey is demanding that the Raqqa offensive be done with the Free Syrian Army and not the SDF. "Today we face a new enemy in the fight against terrorism, and again, we seek to face this threat together". Some of the people involved in the fight included Erdogan's guards, Voice of America reported.

"This meeting will have a direct impact on the conflict in Syria and the Syrian people", she said.

And for all the talk of their great relationship, Trump mispronounced Erdogan's name multiple times in his statement. They can both benefit from each other.

Trump is trying to get Turkey onboard with his policy on Syria. The U.S. alliance with Turkey has proven pivotal in the battle against Islamic State in Syria, providing the coalition with access to Turkey's Incirlik air base to wage strikes against the militants.

Erdogan is staying at Blair House across from the White House during his visit, and was apparently not at the embassy during the demonstration.

But Erdogan may not be amenable to accepting the US military support for the Kurds in a quid pro quo.

Turkey's Anadolu news agency said more than 100 supporters welcomed Erdogan as he arrived at Trump's guest home in Washington, DC. Too exuberant in its support for the Kurds, and the USA risks pushing ally Turkey toward US geopolitical rivals like Russian Federation or emboldening the Kurds to try to create an independent state - a scenario that would destabilize multiple countries in the region.

The violence coincided with Turkish President's official visit to Washington and broke out as Erdogan entered the residence on Tuesday afternoon.

"This unity and solidarity, especially in these days is very important", Serdar Kilic said.

Flynn's resignation came hours after it was reported that the Justice Department had warned the White House weeks earlier that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail for contacts with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak before Trump took power on January 20.

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