President Trump will host Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House on Tuesday, following the administration's decision to arm a Kurdish faction in Syria.
Earlier Wednesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis brushed off Turkey's demands that the U.S. reverse its decision to arm Kurds in Syria that the NATO ally considers terrorists. Erdogan called on Trump to reverse the decision to arm the Kurdish YPG militia before the two leaders meet.
In a statement, the White House said, "the two leaders will discuss how to further strengthen our bilateral relationship and deepen our cooperation to confront terrorism in all its forms."
Trump and Erdogan spoke by phone in April. Trump congratulated the Turkish president on winning a controversial referendum that passed with just over 51 percent of voters voting "yes" on vesting more power in the Turkish presidency.
International election observers concluded the vote "was contested on an unlevel playing field, and the two sides in the campaign did not have equal opportunities."
Erdogan has been president of Turkey since 2014. He served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014.
In Turkey, the presidency had been considered a head of state, rather than a head of government. As a result of the referendum, the prime ministership was abolished. The Turkish president can bypass parliament under certain circumstances and also can directly appoint numerous judges.
Erdogan previously expressed support for Trump when the U.S. government fired missiles at Syrian planes in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack in April.