16:50 GMT +323 September 2019
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    US President Donald Trump's meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington on May 16, 2017

    Turkey, US to Further Cooperate Despite Discord on Syrian Kurds

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    The US and Turkey seek to continue cooperation despite disagreements over the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Ankara considers to be a branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), outlawed in Turkey, Ozturk Yilmaz, opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy chair responsible for foreign relations, told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump met for a working lunch at the White House, during which the two leaders discussed bilateral issues, expansion of economic cooperation, as well as fight against terrorism. Erdogan and Trump, in particular, discussed the Kurdish issue.

    "There is no convergence, there is no compromise on the definition of PYD, which Turkey sees as PKK branch in Syria, while the United States see it as an ally against ISIL [Daesh]… But we also see the two countries do not go apart, and though they assume their differences, they want to work together," Yilmaz said.

    The HDP deputy chair highlighted that Erdogan failed to change Trump's opinion on the PYD, adding that US and Turkish different stances on the Kurdish parties were hindering cooperation in settling Syrian crisis.

    "Of course there is a general understanding between President Trump and President Erdogan towards close cooperation in the Middle East and other areas. This is important, but when it comes to the concrete issues which divide two countries we have yet to see a convergence on critical issues," Yilmaz said.

    Ankara considers the YPG to be affiliated with the PKK, which is listed as a terror group in Turkey, the United States and the European Union. However, the PYD and its military branch Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), as well as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been receiving support from the United States in fighting Daesh in Syria.

    On May 9, the US Defense Department announced that Trump approved a plan to arm YPG in order to better fight Daesh in Syria, despite objections from Turkey.


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    Kurds, Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Ozturk Yilmaz, Donald Trump, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, United States
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