|On May 16, 2017, US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC. — AFP/VNA Photo|Viet Nam News
WASHINGTON — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invited his American counterpart Donald Trump to visit Turkey in 2019, the White House said on Monday.
"President Erdogan invited President Trump to visit Turkey in 2019. While nothing definite is being planned, the President is open to a potential meeting in the future," a White House spokesperson said.
The invitation comes just days after Trump made the controversial decision to withdraw American troops from Syria, where they have been deployed to assist in the international war against the Islamic State jihadist group.
Turkey was a rare ally that lauded Trump’s decision on Syria, a country where it will now have a freer rein to target Kurdish fighters who were armed and trained by the US and played a major role in the war against IS but are deemed terrorists by Ankara.
Turkey has said an offensive targeting the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia and IS group will be launched in the coming months, and has deployed troops to the Syrian border. — AFP