February 15, 2018 / 9:22 PM / a year ago

Tillerson and Turkey's Erdogan had productive conversation: U.S. spokesman

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Ankara, Turkey February 15, 2018. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

ANKARA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday had a “productive, open conversation” about a mutually beneficial way to improve U.S.-Turkey relations, a State Department spokesman traveling with Tillerson said.

Tillerson met with Erdogan for more than three hours in Ankara, as part of what was widely expected to be the most difficult leg of a five-day regional visit.

Relations between the NATO partners have been strained over a number of issues, particularly Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara calls terrorists.

Reporting by Yara Bayoumy; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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