Great potential in Turkey, US economic ties to substantially expand, Trump says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 15.01.2019 01:16
Updated 15.01.2019 01:50
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, chats with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as they attend for a family picture during a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018. (EPA Photo)
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, chats with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as they attend for a family picture during a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018. (EPA Photo)

U.S. President Donald Trump said late Monday that Turkey and the United States' economic ties have great potential, and will develop even more in the future.

"Spoke about economic development between the U.S. & Turkey - great potential to substantially expand!," Trump said regarding his phone call with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a tweet.

Saying that he also discussed the fight against Daesh terrorist group, he added that a 20-mile safe zone was another topic of discussion.

President Erdoğan held a phone call with his U.S. counterpart Trump earlier on the same day regarding the latest developments in Syria and bilateral ties, amid a diplomatic spat over the U.S. withdrawal from Syria.

Trump's statement regarding the Turkish-American economic potential indicates a serious backtrack in rhetoric. Hours before the statement, he went as far as saying that Washington would "economically devastate" Turkey if Ankara decided to strike against the militants of the U.S.-backed YPG terrorists.

The comments immediately drew rebukes from Turkish officials, with Ankara asserting that it will not shrink from threats and rejecting any conflation of "Kurds" with terrorist groups.

Ankara has been infuriated by U.S. support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by the YPG, under the pretext of fighting against Daesh. The U.S. provided military training and supplied truckloads of weapons to the YPG, disregarding warnings from Ankara that the YPG is organically linked to the PKK, and partnering with one terrorist group to fight another was not acceptable.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter