US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he “looks forward to seeing” Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while confirming that his Turkish counterpart has accepted his invitation to visit Washington on November 13.
Trump made the announcement after a “very good call” with Erdogan. The telephonic conversation between the two leaders comes after Erdogan, earlier in the day, announced that the wife of slain Islamic State leader was captured by Ankara and is in Turkey’s custody.
Over a telephone call on Wednesday Trump and Erdogan discussed the actions taken by Turkey against the ISIS terrorists.
“Just had a very good call with President @RTErdogan of Turkey. He informed me that they have captured numerous ISIS fighters that were reported to have escaped during the conflict – including a wife and sister of terrorist killer al Baghdadi,” Trump tweeted.
During Wednesday’s phone call, the two leaders also discussed the situation at the Turkey-Syria border, which in recent times witnessed an escalation in tensions after Ankara launched a military offensive to push back Kurdish forces into Syria to create a 30 kilometre safe zone.
In the aftermath of the Turkish military operation, Trump had halted negotiations on a USD 100 billion trade deal with Turkey, raised steel tariffs back up to 50 per cent and imposed sanctions on three senior Turkish officials and Turkey’s defence and energy ministries.
However, Trump had lifted all sanctions imposed on Turkey after it agreed to halt its attacks on Kurdish forces and make the ceasefire in Syria permanent.
“Also talked about their Border with Syria, the eradication of terrorism, the ending of hostilities with the Kurds, and many other topics. Look forward to seeing President Erdogan next Wednesday, November 13th at the @WhiteHouse!,” he added.
It is not clear how Ankara managed to capture the Baghdadi’s unidentified wife. Turkey, earlier this week, had also said that it had captured several of the jihadist’s relatives, including his elder sister Rasmiya Awad, in the northern Syrian town of Azaz, in Aleppo province.
The rabid action by Turkey against the ISIS’ leader family follows Trump announcement that a most notorious and reclusive Baghdadi blew himself along with his three children up in a tunnel in Syria as he was being chased by US military on October 26.