Turkey’s Erdogan, Trump agree on steps for stronger ties

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish officials say U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have agreed to take “constructive steps” toward strengthening ties.

In a telephone call Thursday, Turkish officials said the two leaders also discussed Syria and agreed to maintain “close contacts” concerning bilateral and regional issues.

Their conversation came as Turkish and U.S. troops began conducting joint patrols around the Syrian town of Manbij, as part of an agreement that aimed to ease tensions between the two NATO allies. Ties were strained over Turkish demands for the withdrawal of U.S.-backed Kurdish militia that drove Islamic State militants out of Manbij in 2016.

Erdogan also conveyed Turkey’s condolences over the Pittsburgh synagogue attack that left 11 people dead.

The officials provided the information on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations.

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