Turkey’s Erdogan says US visit to herald new beginning in relationship

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a news conference following the talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday his visit to the United States next week would herald a new beginning in relations between the two countries.

Relations between the NATO allies have been strained by differences over Syria policy. The United States has announced a plan to arm the Syrian Kurdish YPG in the fight against Islamic State, infuriating Turkey, which sees the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Erdogan told a news conference that he believed the United States was still going through a “transition period”, and that decisions such as the arming the YPG dated back to policies from the previous administration.

Erdogan is due to meet President Donald Trump during his May 16-17 trip to Washington.

– Reuters