US President Donald Trump has offered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, due to visit the White House on Wednesday, a package of inducements for better US-Turkey relations that is virtually identical to those the administration proposed last month in a failed effort to stop Turkey’s invasion of Syria.
In a new letter to Erdogan last week, Trump told the Turkish president that a $100 million trade deal, and a work-around to avoid U.S. sanctions over Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system, are still possible, senior administration officials said, according to The Washington Post.
The offer is likely to infuriate at least some of the House majority that voted last month to impose sanctions on Turkey over its assault in Syria, and a bipartisan group of senators who introduced a similar bill.
“It’s absolutely shameful that President Trump has invited President Erdogan to the White House after Erdogan attacked our Syrian Kurdish allies,” and forces under Turkish command “have committed what this administration itself describes as war crimes,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen, D-Md, who sponsored the Senate bill along with seven other Democrats and eight Republicans.
Trump has long shown affinity for the Turkish leader, calling him “a friend” and “a tough guy who deserves respect.” Erdogan’s White House visit was also part of the package Trump offered in an Oct. 6 phone call with the Turkish leader.