WASHINGTON, Nov 14, (AP): US President Donald Trump says he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are “very good friends,” but their meeting Wednesday at the White House failed to resolve an issue that has badly strained relations between the two NATO allies.
Trump and Erdogan concluded a visit without achieving an agreement on Turkey’s decision earlier this year to accept delivery of a Russian air defense system that poses such a threat to NATO security that the US suspended Turkish participation in the multinational F-35 fighter jet program.
The Turkish president told reporters he might be persuaded to use the US-made Patriot system “as well” as the Russian S-400. Trump said they would agree to keep working on the issue. “The acquisition of the S-400 creates some very serious challenges for us,” Trump said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to resolve that situation.” Despite the differences, Trump said he believes the two sides can substantially increase trade, which amounted to about $24 billion in 2017. “We think we can bring trade up very quickly to about $100 billion between our countries,” Trump said.