Erdogan, Trump discuss US probe into FETO activities

By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet and Sena Guler

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish and U.S. presidents on Friday discussed ongoing investigations into the activities of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in the U.S., said a statement by the Turkish Presidency.

According to the statement, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Donald Trump spoke over the phone on late Friday.

It said the two leaders also exchanged views on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder, counter-terrorism efforts in Syria and bilateral economic relations.

"Agreeing on the need to shed light on all aspects and to prevent a cover-up of Jamal Khashoggi’s slaying, the leaders have stressed the importance of close cooperation between Turkey and the United States in the fight against all terrorist organizations," the statement added.

Khashoggi, a frequent contributor to The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After weeks of denying any involvement in the crime, Saudi Arabia later admitted that Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge about any murder plot.

Erdogan also offered his condolences to Trump for the loss of lives in the California wildfire.

The two leaders also welcomed the start of joint patrols by Turkish and the U.S. troops within the framework of the Manbij roadmap in northwestern Syria and addressed the completion of the process without further delay.

Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols on Nov. 1.

Since June 18, the Turkish Armed Forces have carried out 68 unilateral patrols in Manbij.

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region, which is in the northeast of northern Syria's Aleppo province.

The statement said Erdogan has shared with Trump his expectations for the U.S. to stop supporting the PKK terror group's Syrian branch, referring to PYD/YPG.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women and children.

"Recalling the importance of following up on the matters discussed in France, the leaders reiterated their commitment to further strengthening bilateral relations in all areas," the statement added.