Erdogan to meet Trump despite offending moves by US lower house

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled lately that he had second thoughts about his planned visit to the United States after the US legislative adopted moves against Ankara, but analysts think the president would meet with his US counterpart hoping a tete-a-tete could help settle thorny issues.

Erdogan is slated to meet with US President Donald Trump at the White House on November 13, and he would stick to his schedule despite Trump’s “insulting” letter and the recent sanctions sought by the House of Representatives against Turkey, observed Cahit Armagan Dilek, director of the Ankara-based 21st Century Turkey Institute.

“Because Erdogan manages Ankara’s ties with Washington by a backstage mechanism between him and Trump rather than through the institutional mechanism,” Dilek told Xinhua.

The ties between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies, already troubled over the past years, have been further strained following Ankara’s recent military offensive against US-backed Kurdish militia in northern Syria.

On October 29, the anniversary of the day the Turkish Republic was founded in 1923, the House of Representatives passed two resolutions highly offending for Ankara. The House overwhelmingly demanded sanctions on some Turkish government and military officials, including Erdogan, over their responsibility in the cross-border operation against the Kurdish militia, the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

The second resolution, also passed overwhelmingly by the House, officially recognises the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians during the First World War as genocide.

“I have not yet made up my mind, but there is a question mark,” Erdogan told reporters on October 30 regarding his planned trip to Washington D.C..

Back on October 24, Erdogan said he had accepted Trump’s invitation to meet on November 13 and that he hoped the meeting would take place in a friendly atmosphere as before. Ankara criticised the resolutions, saying they were null and void and in violation of the spirit of alliance between the two countries.

“Erdogan may well go to meet with Trump, because he has the habit of resolving problems with Trump based on personal ties,” Ilhan Uzgel, an analyst on international relations, told Xinhua.

Amid strain in ties with Washington in recent years, Turkish officials have often said Trump has been sympathetic toward Ankara while the US establishment has disregarded Turkish concerns, spoiling Trump’s efforts toward good bilateral ties. -Xinhua

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