Turkey says it captured 'important' IS figure in Syria

Since becoming US president Donald Trump has openly complimented Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his combative ruling style. — AFP  File

While Congress listened to evidence against Mr Trump in the impeachment inquiry, the USA president met Mr Erdogan on the White House's South Lawn, together with a military honour guard, before heading straight to the Oval Office.

His words failed to placate members of Congress and others who accuse Turkish-backed forces of killing Kurdish civilians and causing a humanitarian crisis in the incursion, which prompted the USA last month to hurriedly evacuate a small number of American troops from near the Syria-Turkey border.

Minutes after their news conference, the White House released a statement using firmer language.

Turkey's S-400 missile systems were purchased from Russia earlier this year, and some defense experts have speculated that information concerning the F-35 may have been leaked to the Russians by the Turkish government.

That also prompted the United States to eject its fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

Turkey shrugged off threats of United States sanctions and began receiving its first S-400 deliveries in July, but so far, the U.S. has not imposed any sanctions. "And there's a pony in there somewhere if we can find it", Graham said during that meeting.

Erdogan said that the two countries could only overcome their dispute on the S-400s and F-35s through dialogue. Trump said they would agree to keep working on the issue. Isn't this a gift to President Erdogan, even after he dismissed President Trump?

Media quoted a Turkey's newspaper as reporting that the United States man who had been repatriated was stuck in a heavily militarized no man's land between the Greece and Turkey border.

"It is time for us to go home".

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"It's crucial for us that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries lean in our direction".

"I understand the problems that they've had, including many people from Turkey being killed in the area that we're talking about and he has to do something about that", Trump said. "They're highly respected in their country and in the region", Trump said of Erdogan and his wife Emine. In response, Erdogan attended an annual Russian air show this summer in Moscow and expressed interest in buying the latest Russian Su-35 fighter jets.

Now the leaders of these two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies meet face to face.

Trump has defended his relationship with Erdogan as critical to regional security in the Middle East and added Turkey has been a key US ally for decades, citing the economic upside to the relationship as a reason to overcome the differences.

"Don't look at these things as rewards; they're the execution of diplomacy", said a senior State Department official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity. "The most reliable U.S. partner in the region to do this is Turkey", Erdoğan said.

INSKEEP: Got a mention - a White House visit is a pretty big deal for a foreign leader.

Addressing a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, US President Trump said Europe was not owning up to its responsibilities regarding the Syrian refugee crisis.

At his speech later, he called the House resolution as "shameful" and "against historical realities".

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