US secretary of state seeks to keep focus on ISIS in delicate Turkey visit

By REUTERS
March 30, 2017 11:45
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

ANKARA - US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Turkey on Thursday for talks with a NATO ally crucial to the fight against Islamic State but increasingly at odds with Washington and its European partners.

Tillerson will meet President Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the US-led fight against Islamic State, including the planned offensive against its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, where Turkey has been angered by US support for Kurdish militia fighters.

Erdogan has been incensed by Washington's readiness to work with the Kurdish YPG militia in the fight against Islamic State. Ankara sees the YPG as an extension of PKK militants who have fought a three-decade insurgency inside Turkey and are seen as a terrorist group by the United States and European Union.

US-Turkish relations have also been strained by the continued presence in the United States of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Erdogan for a failed coup last July and whom Ankara wants extradited.


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