Turkish officials had billed Tuesday’s meeting as a pivotal moment for the two countries’ troubled relationship, and Trump, sticking to his script, made the expected noises in public. He commended Erdoğan as an important ally in fighting terrorism and singled out the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK), which both powers regard as a terrorist faction, as a particular threat.
Ignoring his own state department, Trump stayed silent on Turkey’s poor human rights record, which deteriorated sharply after last July’s failed army coup. He promised to press ahead with US arms sales to Turkey, a Nato member. “We’ve had a great relationship and we will make it even better,” he said.
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