Trump praises Turkey’s Erdogan as a friend | World

US President Donald Trump meets with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey during the UN General Assembly in New York, US, September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

NEW YORK: US President Donald Trump on Thursday praised Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan as a friend despite tensions between the two countries over Turkish security officials involved in street fighting with protesters during a visit to Washington in May.

Meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Trump hailed Erdogan’s leadership in Turkey and said Erdogan “has become a friend of mine”.

“I think now we’re as close as we’ve ever been,” he said.

Eleven people were hurt in what Washington’s police chief described as a brutal attack on peaceful demonstrators outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence.

Ankara blamed the violence on groups linked to Kurdish militants fighting an armed campaign in southeastern Turkey.

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