US says Erdogan-Putin meeting not ‘zero-sum game’
State Dept. spokeswoman says US-Turkey relationship would not be weakened after Erdogan and Putin restore ties
By Esra Kaymak Avci
WASHINGTON (AA) – The State Department said Tuesday it does not view the restoration of Turkish-Russian relations as "a zero-sum game" as leaders of Turkey and Russia determined to boost ties after about nine months.
Shortly after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, said in a joint press conference in St. Petersburg that relations would be even better than before, the State Department was asked what the U.S. position was on this.
"We don't view this as a zero-sum game," State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said during a press briefing.
She added that Turkey and Russia were both sovereign states and had a lot of common goals such as the fight against Daesh and efforts for a political solution for Syria.
Trudeau also stressed that the U.S. remained concerned about "anti-American rhetoric" in Turkey and said the U.S. didn't view it as "helpful".
She said that the U.S. expected all parties in Turkey such as the media, civil society and the government "to be responsible in their statements on this."
Trudeau did not provide any updates about Turkey's extradition request for Fetullah Gulen, who is the leader of the Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO) that organized the coup attempt, according to the Turkish government.
Since July 19, Turkey has sent two bunches of documents to U.S. to extradite Gulen. However, the U.S. says it still is reviewing the request.
Trudeau did not share any information about Secretary of State John Kerry's possible visit later this month to Turkey.
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