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Trump praises Turkey's Erdogan as a friend
September 21, 2017 / 7:28 PM / in a month

Trump praises Turkey's Erdogan as a friend

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. 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.

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

Meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. 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.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by James Dalgleish

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