"Tillerson's visit will take place at the request of the United States. McMaster is coming to Turkey at my invitation. These are important negotiations because we are trying to set up relations so that there is no mistrust in them that exists now. We will discuss Syria, Iraq, the fight against terrorism, bilateral relations," Ibrahim Kalin told reporters.
Among the factors souring bilateral relations, Kalin mentioned the United States’ support for Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen's movement — referred to as Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and accused by Ankara of masterminding the 2016 failed coup attempt — and militants in Syria, as well as the trials of Turkish bankers and entrepreneurs in the United States.
On Tuesday, local media reported that McMaster would come to Istanbul over the weekend, while Tillerson was set to visit Ankara the following week.
Relations between Turkey and the US took a plunge after the failed July 2016 Turkish coup attempt, which President Erdogan blamed on US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen. Washington's refusal to extradite Gulen has fueled Ankara's suspicions that the US was in on the plot.
The US plans on Syrian northern borders immediately prompted an angry reaction from Ankara, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accusing Washington of forming a "terrorist army" and vowing to strangle it "before it is born." On January 20, Ankara took actions and began its operation against Kurdish military formations in Syria's Afrin, code-named "Operation Olive Branch," which, according to US Defense Secretary James Mattis, was hampering what he said was the fight against terrorism.