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Turkey's Erdogan says Confident U.S. Visit Will Mark 'Milestone'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed confidence that his upcoming visit to the United States will mark a "milestone" in what are now strained relations between the two NATO allies.

Turkey has been infuriated by a U.S. plan to arm the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara considers as a terrorist group, in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

Erdogan said on May 12 that he hopes that his talks with U.S. President Donald Trump during his May 16-17 trip will lead to a "breaking point" in the U.S. decision.

He told a news conference that he believes the United States is in a "transition period" and that decisions such as the arming of the YPG date back to policies from the previous administration.

He also said he would pursue the issue of the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric accused by Ankara of orchestrating last year’s attempted coup against the Turkish president.

Gulen denies any involvement in the plot.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP