Erdoğan, Trump to meet in NYC on Thursday

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Turkish President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and US President Donald Trump (2 L) chat each other during a dinner hosted by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres (not seen) within the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, United States on September 19, 2017. AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his US counterpart Donald Trump will have bilateral discussions at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel Thursday afternoon, reports said.

According to Turkey’s official news agency Anadolu, Erdoğan and Trump will meet at 3 p.m. and are expected to hold a joint press briefing following the meeting.

Anadolu also said delegates from both countries would be attending some parts of the meeting.

Erdoğan is expected to raise issues such as the US blocking the sale of firearms for Erdoğan’s security detail and the extradition of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by Turkey of being behind a failed coup last year. Gülen strongly denies the accusations.

Following a violent brawl in which Erdoğan’s security detail was engaged and 11 protesters were injured during a protest outside the residence of the Turkish ambassador in Washington on May 16, arrest warrants were issued in June for 16 people including 12 members of Erdoğan’s security detail for the attack.

Two defendants were arrested in June and the rest are at large.

In August, 19 people, including 15 of Erdoğan’s guards, were indicted for attacking people who were protesting the visit of Erdoğan and for committing a violent crime. Some of them also face charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

The US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs on Sept. 8 sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson requesting that he take steps to ensure that another violent incident involving Erdoğan’s security detail does not take place during Erdoğan’s visit to New York.

A US Senate committee also approved an endorsement to an appropriations bill that would block the US government from selling firearms to Erdoğan’s security detail.

Erdoğan slammed the US decision to issue arrest warrants for his bodyguards and said he would initiate a political and legal battle against the arrest warrants for his security personnel.

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