Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived at the White House on Wednesday to hold meetings with his American counterpart.
Erdogan arrived midday for meetings with U.S. President Donald Trump the White House scheduled for more than three hours, and which are to be followed by a joint news conference.
Trump is scheduled to meet select senators before the news conference begins, and reports have suggested that Erdogan will also take part. The U.S. president’s public schedule notes only that Trump is to participate in the “legislative engagement.”
The meeting is expected to cover bilateral relations and foreign policy issues, including Syria.
Addressing reporters in the Oval Office alongside their respective first ladies, Trump said he understands “the problems Turkey faces,” and added, “we have to do something about that.” He called Erdogan a “very good friend.”
The U.S. president said the sides will discuss trade, saying Turkey “makes great product” and “we’re going to be expanding our trade relationship very significantly.”
“We think we could be doing $100 billion with Turkey, and right now we’re doing about $20 billion,” said Trump as he prepared to head into a meeting with Erdogan, and first ladies Emine Erdogan and Melania Trump.
Increasing the trade volume, Trump said “would be great for Turkey and good for us.”
Prior to departing Ankara, Erdogan said Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria and the fight against the Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO) would be among major topics addressed during the meeting.
The Turkish president said counterterrorism, especially security issues of common concern, military and defense industry cooperation, as well as economic and commercial relations will also be addressed.
Erdogan last visited Washington in 2017.