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Trump: 'great potential' for US, Turkey economic development

January 15, 2019 at 3:30 am

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) meets with US President Donald Trump (R) within the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 1 December, 2018 [TURKISH PRESIDENCY / MURAT CETINMUHURDAR / /HANDOUTAnadolu Agency]

President Donald Trump said he told Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Monday that he saw “great potential to substantially expand” economic development between the United States and Turkey, Reuters reports.

Trump also said in a tweet that he and Erdogan discussed “our last two weeks of success in fighting the remnants of ISIS (Daesh), and 20-mile safe zone” in Syria for Washington’s Kurdish allies.

Read: Turkey sends more reinforcements to border with Syria’s Idlib

On Sunday, Trump threatened in a tweet to devastate Turkey’s economy if it attacks the Kurds. Trump also said the United States was starting the military pullout from Syria he had announced in December but that it would continue to hit Daesh fighters there.

The Kurdish YPG militia has been a US ally in the fight against the jihadists, and it controls swaths of northern Syria. Erdogan has vowed to crush it in the wake of Trump’s decision to pull troops out.

Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party that is waging a decades-long insurgency on Turkish soil.