Trump calls Erdogan, seeks support in Syria

WASHINGTON: US Pres­dent Donald Trump has telephoned his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erd­ogan to congratulate him on his referendum victory and to discuss recent US missile attacks on Syria, the White House said.

The brief statement — issued on Monday evening — underlines the US need for Turkey’s support for the Trump administration’s new policy of increasing pressure on the Syrian government, as there’s only one reference to the April 16 referendum in Turkey and three to the crisis in Syria.

The statement also skipped the fear, expressed openly by America’s Eur­opean allies, that the referendum seeks to enforce a presidential system in Turkey, which would give Mr Erdogan sweeping new powers.

Several EU members also warned that such sweeping powers always encourage totalitarian tendencies.

The White House reported that besides congratulating Mr Erdogan, President Trump also discussed with him the US action in response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons on April 4th.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2017

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