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Tensions High Ahead of Erdogan-Trump Meeting


Tuesday, 12 November 2019 17:59 WIB

Global


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Turkish  President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Washington this week to meet President Donald Trump, a meeting some consider an opportunity to reset relations that have been strained over numerous policy differences.

Turkey's military operation against the Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG, is expected to top the agenda. Ankara designates the. YPG as terrorists, but the militia is a crucial ally in the U.S.-led war against Islamic State.

The U.S. Congress is threatening widespread sanctions against Turkey for its military operations against the Kurds.  Some of the sanctions target Erdogan personally.

However, Erdogan is warning that agreements negotiated with Washington and Moscow to pause the military operation against the Kurdish militia are at risk. The Turkish leader accuses the militia of failing to withdraw from the Turkish frontier.

Analysts suggest Erdogan could look to secure at least tacit support from Trump for a resumption in the Syrian operation.

“This is a very important meeting," said Asli Aydintasbas, a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

"There is a long list of problems between the two countries. In fact, the relationship has never been as bad as it is today. And of course, there is the ongoing matter which is the Turkish incursion into Syria and U.S. objections. What's happening on the ground is extremely volatile."

Despite escalating bilateral tensions, the two presidents appear to have built a good working relationship, a personal chemistry that Ankara believes can offer a chance of a reset.

Source : VOA


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