Trump Meets Turkish President Today

AP News
November 13, 2019 - 1:26 pm

AP

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Turkey’s president says that in six months to two years, Turkey could repatriate about 1 million refugees now in Turkey into a safe zone established in northern Syria.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH'-jehp TY'-ihp UR'-doh-wahn) launched a military offensive into Syria on Oct. 9 with the intent of clearing the area of U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters he sees as a threat.

Turkey’s government also hopes to resettle about 2 million of the 3.6 million Syrian war refugees.

Erdogan says he hopes to attract international donors to assist. He says 1 million refugees could be repatriated to cities like Raqqa and Deir el-Zour, the largest city in eastern Syria.

Erdogan spoke Wednesday in meeting he had with Trump and five Republican senators.

Republican lawmakers have pressed Turkey’s president about why Turkey bought a Russian missile system despite Turkey’s membership in NATO.

Senators who gathered at the White House with President Donald Trump also expressed concerns about U.S.-backed Kurdish forces that Turkey is battling in neighboring Syria.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH'-jehp TY'-ihp UR'-doh-wahn) that U.S. lawmakers have two main concerns. One is the S-400 air defense system that Turkey bought from Moscow. And the second is stopping Turkey from going after the Kurds.

Trump called reporters into his meeting with Erdogan at the same time that Washington was focused on impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill. Trump said earlier that he was too busy to watch the televised hearings.

Florida Sen. Rick Scott said he wants to see Turkey moving closer to the U.S. and not Russia.