President Donald Trump said Thursday that he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “have a great friendship.”
Trump is meeting Erdogan on his final day of events related to the United Nations General Assembly. His meeting with the Turkish president is the final one before he heads to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Before the meeting, Trump said Erdogan has “become a friend of mine.”
“We have a great friendship… we are as close as we’ve ever been,” Trump added. Erdogan returned the praise, and said through a translator that described Trump as “my dear friend Donald.”
Trump said that Erdogan is “running a very difficult part of the world,” and “frankly he’s getting high marks.”
Although Turkey is a NATO ally, it has had a tense relationship with America. In May, a group of Erdogan’s bodyguards attacked peaceful protesters outside of the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington and Erdogan said in December 2016 that the U.S. gives support to Islamic terrorist organizations including the Islamic State. (RELATED: Turkey, A NATO Ally, Continues To Accuse The US Of Supporting ISIS)