Turkey's Erdogan says hopes decision to arm Kurdish militia changed before U.S. visit

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday he hoped a U.S. decision to arm Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State in Syria will be changed by the time he visits Washington for talks with President Donald Trump next week.

After Trump approved the arms supply to support a campaign to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa, Erdogan told a news conference he wanted to believe that Turkey’s allies would side with Ankara and not with terrorist organizations.

Turkey views the Kurdish YPG militia as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984 and is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Turkey and Europe.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Daren Butler