Washington – U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on Tuesday at the White House and afterward both leaders vowed to work together to defeat terrorism in the Middle East. But differences between them about arming the Syrian Kurds appeared to be unresolved.

“It is going to be important to forge close solidarity in fighting terrorism, primarily ISIS and other groups,” Erdogan told the press after the meeting.

Erdogan said that helping the Syrian Kurds “will never be accepted.” He added: “We should never allow those groups to manipulate the religion or ethnic tensions.” After meeting Trump, Erdogan said: “I have been frank in communicating our expectations about the Fetuhllah Gulen Organization, which we have notified our friends about their involvement in the failed coup.” US President Donald Trump, for his part, voiced US support for Turkey in its fight against terrorism and said it would support any efforts to end the violence in Syria.

Trump said he would work to ensure the delivery of the military equipment, Erdogan has requested, to Turkey as soon as possible.

He made no remarks about either the Syrian Kurds or Gulen and the two leaders did not take questions from the media after their statements.

The meeting comes few days after Trump administration announced a plan to arm the Syrian Kurds, in exchange for helping to defeat ISIS. Turkey has been waging and on and off again war against Turkish Kurds for decades.

Erdogan has been strongly critical of the US decision to arm Syrian Kurds in the effort to liberate Raqqa from ISIS.

Erdogan also asked the Obama administration to extradite exiled Fethullah Gulen from his exile in Pennsylvania after he accused Gulen of being the mastermind of the failed coup in Turkey last July. The Obama administration, after asking for evidence from the Turkish government, failed to act. (QNA) A A A/AK

Source: Qatar News Agency