Upcoming Erdogan Meetings with Putin and Trump

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Upcoming Erdogan Meetings with Putin and Trump
by Stephen Lendman
After consolidating dictatorial powers by a manipulated referendum, a process OSCE observers said “fell short” of international standards, citing numerous irregularities, Erdogan will meet with Vladimir Putin Wednesday in Sochi, Russia, followed by a May 16-17 meeting with Trump in Washington.
He’s part of the geopolitical landscape problem, not the solution – waging war on Kurds at home and abroad, wanting northern Syria and Iraq annexed, pretending to want conflict resolution.
His belligerence and despotic rule belie his duplicitous rhetoric. According to Turkey’s deputy director for Syria policy Mustafa Yurdakul, he and Putin “will discuss, among other issues, the strengthening of the ceasefire regime, the situation with prisoners and issues of mine clearance.”
Turkish troops invaded northern Syria last August. Erdogan talks peace while waging war.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he and Putin will discuss the ongoing conflict in Syria, offering no further elaboration.
Years of on-and-off peace talks since 2012 produced no resolution, current ones so far achieving no breakthroughs because Washington wants endless war and regime change.
On May 15, Erdogan will meet with Xi Jinping in Beijing. “The date has been fixed,” he said. “I will be traveling to China and (then) to the United States,” adding he hopes his meeting with Trump “will lay the foundation for stronger cooperation.”
He wants US support for Kurdish YPG fighters ended, his top priority. He’ll press for Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen’s extradition to Turkey, falsely accusing him of being behind last July’s failed coup attempt.
Both leaders spoke several times by phone since late January. Trump congratulated Erdogan on his dubious referendum triumph, sharply diverging from EU criticism. The State Department cited “observed (vote-counting) irregularities.” 
Another contentious issue is unknown numbers of US troops and armored vehicles deployed along the Syrian/Turkish border – carrying out patrols and reconnaissance flights.
Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis confirmed the deployment – without explaining US forces in Syria support anti-government terrorists.
Trump escalated Obama’s war. Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan denounced continued aggression, saying it complicates conflict resolution efforts.
Prospects for positive results from continuing Geneva and Astana, Kazakhstan talks are dim because Washington wants endless war and regime change.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.