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Trump, Erdogan talk on phone amid tension

US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Reccep Tayyip Erdogan emphasize on cooperation for “regional security” during a phone call amid tensions over Washington’s support for Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

According to Press TV, a White House statement said after the two world leaders spoke on the phone on Saturday “President Trump emphasized the common commitment of the United States and Turkey to work together to increase regional stability.”

The two NATO allies’ relations have been sour over Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurds, which Ankara considers as terrorists.

“Noting the strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States, the two leaders emphasized the importance of continuing to work together to further strengthen bilateral relations and increase stability in the region,” the Turkish president’s office said in a statement.

The two also agreed to meet later this month in New York at the United Nations General Assembly.

The phone call was made a day after the Turkish president denounced US prosecutors’ recent charges against a former economy minister accused of violating sanctions on Iran, calling on Washington to review the move.

“I say clearly, I see this step taken against our former Economy Minister [Mehmet Zafer Caglayan] as a step taken against the Turkish Republic,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Friday before departing for a visit to Kazakhstan.

Erdogan is also upset with Washington’s refusal to return to extradite Pennsylvania-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen over his alleged role in last year’s failed coup.

Ankara is frustrated since there has been no progress on its demand for Gulen’s extradition, after the failed July 15 coup attempt.

Gulen has denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.