Trump to Meet Turkey's Erdogan Ahead of NATO Summit in May

The announcement comes after the U.S. president called the Turkish leader to congratulate him on the referendum results

U.S. President Donald Trump disembarks from Air Force One after arriving in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 18, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump disembarks from Air Force One after arriving in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 18, 2017. SAUL LOEB/AFP

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will meet U.S. President Donald Trump in May ahead of a meeting of the NATO alliance, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference, Cavusoglu said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will finalize the date according to the two presidents' schedules.

On Monday, the White House said in a statement that Trump called Erdogan to congratulate him on his referendum victory and to thank him for supporting a U.S. missile attack on Syria in response to a chemical attack by Syrian government forces on April 4.

Trump and Erdogan also agreed on the importance of holding Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable for the chemical attack and discussed the campaign against ISIS, the statement said.

Turkey voted on Sunday to switch to a presidential system, greatly increasing Erdogan's powers. Unofficial results, which the opposition said it would challenge, showed a narrow victory for him with 51.4 percent of votes cast in favour. 

The mission of observers from the 47-member Council of Europe, the continent's leading human rights body, said the referendum was an uneven contest. Support for "Yes" dominated campaign coverage, and the arrests of journalists and closure of media outlets silenced other views, the monitors said. 

The U.S. State Department said it had taken note of the European monitors' concerns and looked forward to a final report, urging the Turkish government to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens, however they voted. 

AP contributed to this report.