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The Latest: Trump envisions expanded trade ties with Turkey

WASHINGTON — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. and Turkey are poised to expand between the two countries.

Trump is set to meet later Wednesday in the Oval Office with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn). Trump says he thinks that trade between the two NATO allies can quickly increase to about $100 billion.

U.S. goods and services trade with Turkey totalled an estimated $24 billion in 2017.

But right now, relations between the two countries are at their lowest point in decades. Turkey’s decision to buy a Russian air defence system has angered the U.S. and other NATO allies.

Trump says the meeting will also cover Turkey’s incursion into northeastern Syria to fight Kurdish forces that have been U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group.

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12:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is to meet with Turkey’s president at a time when relations between the two NATO allies are at their lowest point in decades.

Turkey has rebuffed Washington and has warmed ties with Russia, even buying a Russian air defence system, even though Turkey is a NATO member. Turkey also is facing a backlash over attacks on Kurdish civilians during Turkey’s incursion into Syria.

Some in Congress have denounced President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn) for what they say are his repressive tactics at home and they say he should never have been invited to the White House.

Trump says Turkey has been a critical U.S. ally for decades, and he cites the strong economic upside to the relationship. He says the two countries have enough in common to overcome their differences.

The Associated Press